Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread

September 2, 2012

Another recipe, more quinoa involved. Yes, we have to get ourselves ready for 2013 (UN’s International Year of Quinoa). There’s no slacking off, we must learn how to incorporate quinoa in all our meals.
What about making some bread with quinoa?
Bread, real bread, it’s not that complicated to make, but it does take time. Not so much in the preparation but it has to rise for several hours. This quinoa bread is no exception. You’ll need a good 4 to 5 hours. Good news is that while the dough rises you have plenty of time to do other things.
I, for instance, scheduled my training schedule accordingly. I knew I had to wait around 1 hour between each step so I went for my 6 miles run during the first ‘rise’, took a yoga class during the second ‘rise’, and watched two full episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” during the third and final ’rise’ (I know, this is not so much exercising but I was worn off and wanted to be a couch potato for once).

It’s bread, so it involves flour, yeast and water. However, we’re going to make an IronYou bread so only organic whole wheat flour, fresh active yeast, and organic agave syrup. Make the sponge. We have to wait at least 60 minutes, time to go for a run.

Came back, stretching, shower and then off to kneading the dough with more flour and quinoa. Question: does kneading counts as a workout? I’m not sure, but in this particular case you have to knead the dough for a good amount of time (at least 5 minutes but 10 it’s better), plus it’s elastic and sticky which makes it more difficult. I didn’t wore my polar while doing but I certainly burned off some calories.

Time for the second rise. Yoga time. A gentle vinyasa class, to recover from the run and the kneading.
Back from yoga. A good punch to the dough. Again some rising involved. Time to slack off on the couch. First episode of “How I Met Your Mother”.

Making the loaf. Some further rise involved. Then it goes into the oven. Time to “How I Met Your Mother” again. How I love when my favorite TV shows are syndicated. You can watch episodes back to back for a whole afternoon.

The bread is finally ready: “Ta-ta!” We just made the most delicious and healthy loaf of bread one can possibly imagine.

This bread, thanks to quinoa, is a source of complete protein, plus it’s packed with fiber, plus it’s completely vegan plus, IT’S DELICIOUS!
I served to my roommates with some olives tapenade spread on top, and they almost break out in tears because how good it was.
It’s so worth the waiting time and the effort. If you want to impress your guests, there’s no better way to do it than with this whole wheat quinoa bread.

Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread                                                                                      Print this Recipe!
Adapted from The Very Best of Recipes for Health


For the sponge
1 cube of fresh yeast or 2 ½ tsp of active dry yeast
1 ½ cup lukewarm water
2 tbsp agave nectar
2 cups organic whole wheat flour

For the bread
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 ½ cup cooked quinoa
3 cups whole wheat flour, plus more if needed
1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp of water for the egg wash


Make the sponge:

In a large bowl combine the yeast and water and stir until dissolved. Stir in the agave nectar. Whisk in the flour, 1 cup at the time. Continue whisking for two full minute.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm spot for one hour, until bubbly.

Make the dough:

Once the sponge is bubbly, add the olive oil to the sponge and whisk. Add the salt and the quinoa and fold in.
Add the flour, 1 cup at the time. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface, flour your hands and knead the dough for a good 5 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary (this really depends on quality of the quinoa used), until the dough becomes elastic and springs back when you press it with your finger. It will be sticky and quite dense.
Shape the dough into a ball. Rinse and dry the bowl, and coat it with oil. Place the dough in it, and coat with a little bit of olive oil.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and set in a warm spot to rise for one hour or until doubled.
Punch down the dough, cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise again for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C).
Oil a 9-by-5 inch pan, shape the dough into a loaf and place it in the pan.
Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes, or until the loaf rises above the edges of the pan.
Brush the loaf with the egg wash; and using a sharp knife cut three ½ inch deep slashes across the top of each loaf.
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, brushing halfway through with egg wash. The bread is done when it is golden brown.
Keep it covered in a dry spot and it will last for several days.

Nutrition facts

The loaf yields 2700 calories,  500 grams of carbs and 100 grams of protein.
I honestly do not remember how many slices I made out of it but I guess around 25/30, it’s so rich in flavor and dense in texture that it’s recommended to slice it very thinly.


  1. Amazing recipe! Gotta make it soon!


  2. I love quinoa and have been wanting to start making our own bread for toast/lunches so I'm super excited to try this! I do have a couple of questions. Would maple syrup or honey be a good substitute for the agave? And where do you purchase your organic flour? I'd love to buy it in bulk but have had a hard time finding it at a decent price. Thanks for the great recipe!