Multi-Grain Nut + Seed Bread (gluten-free + vegan)

This gluten-free, vegan bread recipe uses no leavening, and it bakes up into a dense, toothsome loaf that makes killer toast. Easy peasy and über-healthy, what’s not to love?

My holistic chiropractor, Ann Brinkley, is always on at me to eat more protein. “What did you have for breakfast today?” she’ll ask as she digs her thumbs viciously into my IT band. I’d always answer, “a smoothie” or “fruit with yogurt and granola” or “cake”, knowing she’d never be satisfied with my answer. 


Then I made Josey Baker’s Adventure Bread. In fact, I made it six times. I ate it every morning. Knowing that it was waiting to be sliced, toasted, and topped with cream cheese, avocado and sprouts was what got me out of bed some mornings. This time, I was ready when Ann asked after my breakfast.

“I’ve been making this bread that’s all nuts and seeds. It’s really healthy. So I had a slice of that with cream cheese and avocado.” She gave a noncommittal grunt, and I could imagine her picturing conventional “whole wheat” bread with a smattering of seeds in a matrix of refined white flour, and subsequently praying for my blood sugar level. I considered trying to convince her, but thought better of arguing with a woman who was about to crack my neck.


So I just went about my adventure bread baking quietly. Sometimes I’d use olive oil, sometimes coconut. Honey in place of maple syrup. Or I’d add some pumpkin puree or play with the seed combo. But my favorite addition was a smattering of buckwheat groats and millet seeds. The millet adds crunch, and some bites leave you with buckwheat’s deep flavor to which I’m kind of addicted. I think it’s fair to say that I’m addicted to this bread as well. It’s got a lovely, nubby texture that you can really sink your teeth into, and toasting it yields a crunchy crust. The flavor is mild enough to go with whatever sweet or savory toppings you like.

This bread has quite the pedigree. Josey Baker is the founder of The Mill, home to the infamous thick slabs of toast made from house-milled grains. He adapted his adventure bread from Sarah Britton’s Life-Changing Loaf of Bread which, I must say, quite lives up to its name. I’ve seen this type of bread popping up at various places around town, such as at a tasting of Seed + Salt that I went to with Phi and Sarah, and served with smoked onions, sauerkraut and goat cheese at Verbena. Once you try it,  I wager you’ll be hooked, too. (I’m looking forward to trying the crackers of the same name, too!)

A month or two later, Ann told me she was on a cleanse that forbade gluten, dairy and eggs. I again sang the praises of Adventure Bread and this time, she was all ears. The following week she enthused, “I LOVE that adventure bread. I’ve made it six times!”


After the initial trip to the co-op to stock up on psyllium husks, nuts, seeds, and grains, this loaf comes together in no time. Letting it hang out in the pan prior to baking helps to hydrate the grains and nuts, making for a more cohesive loaf, but the time is completely hands-off.

I hope this bread is as lovely an addition to your routine as it has been to ours. If you give it a go, I’d love to hear about it!

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Bread Heads:
Thin + Crisp Gluten-Free Pizza Dough
A Farmer’s Market Cornbread with Sweet Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, and Sheep’s Cheese
Gluten-Free Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

One year ago:
Rye Flour Pains au Chocolat
Two years ago:
Curried Red Lentil, Kale and Sweet Potato Soup
Bergamot Mojitos 
Three years ago:
Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake 
Four years ago:
Chocolate Bouchon Cakes with Black Pepper Ice Cream 
Five years ago:
Cardamom and Plum Jam Crumble Squares

Multi-Grain Nut + Seed Bread (gluten-free + vegan)

Adapted from Josey Baker’s Adventure Bread via David Lebovitz and The Life-Changing Loaf from My New Roots

Be sure to source certified gluten-free ingredients (especially oats) if you or your bread-eaters are highly sensitive. Feel free to trade the maple syrup for honey, the coconut oil for olive or sunflower. Sarah answers a lot of substitution questions in her post, so check it out if you have some! I like this bread best toasted and slathered with cream cheese, avocado, red onion, sprouts, and lox if I’m feeling festive, but go wild with your favorite toast toppings. I’ve got my eye on this kimchi grilled cheese from Karen at Honestly Yum (and the corresponding cocktail [!] by Todd).

Makes 1 (8×4″ or 9×5″ loaf)

1 cup (5 ounces / 145 grams) sunflower seeds
1 cup (3.5 ounces / 100 grams) sliced almonds
1/3 cup (2 ounces / 60 grams) buckwheat groats
1/3 cup (2 ounces / 60 grams) millet seed
2 1/4 cups (6.75 ounces / 195 grams) GF old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup (3 ounces / 85 grams) flax seed
1/3 cup (1 ounce / 30 grams) psyllium husk
1/4 cup (1.25 ounces / 35 grams) chia seed
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 tablespoons (1.25 ounces by weight / 40 grams) maple syrup
1/4 cup (1.5 ounces by weight / 45 grams) coconut oil, melted (or olive oil)
2 3/4 cups water

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325ºF.

Spread the sunflower seeds, almonds, buckwheat groats, and millet seed on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, 8-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the oats, flax seed, psyllium husk, chia seed, and salt. When the sunflower seed mixture has toasted, add it to the bowl and stir to combine. Add the maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and water, and stir to combine well, using your hands if need be.

Line a loaf pan (8×4 or 9×5″) on all sides with parchment paper. Scrape the dough into the pan and use damp fingers to smooth the top, creating a slight dome. Cover the dough and let sit at room temperature at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400ºF. Uncover the bread and bake until deeply bronzed, about 1 1/2 hours (but check it at 1 1/4 hours). Remove the bread from the oven and let cool completely, at least 2 hours, then remove from the pan and discard the parchment.

The bread keeps well, refrigerated airtight, for up to a week or even two. Slice and toast for best results.


95 thoughts on “Multi-Grain Nut + Seed Bread (gluten-free + vegan)”

  1. Just this morning I was thinking to myself that I really need a new healthier breakfast option. I'm so sick of eggs. This loaf is exactly what I was looking for. Quick question though: is there a suitable sub for the rolled oats?

  2. This bread looks great and i'm sure it would toast up well but I don't have a toaster. How is it untoasted? It looks like it would pack well to take to work or evening class perhaps topped with nut butter.

    1. It's still tasty, just not as warm and crusty. I don't have a toaster either, so we use a cast iron skillet on low heat for about 5 minutes on each side. :)

  3. So many seeds! I bet this would be excellent for a party tray of toast and toppings. Or mayyybe I just want an entire plateful of that avocado toast… :)

  4. I love a good hearty bread and this looks like my ideal loaf! Good thing I work by a Whole Foods so I will have to drop by on my way home and pick up the ingredients to make this! Also, where did you find that striped linen towel? I love the texture!

    1. Ah thank you! And let me know how you like the bread. The grey towel I found at a small shop in SF, but the label says it's by Caravan. And the blue one is from Crate and Barrel. :)

    1. I think so. The whole mixture sits for several hours or up to a day prior to baking. If you want to give the ingredients more soaking time than that prior to mixing, I think you would just want to take down the water in the recipe. By how much, I don't know. Let me know what you come up with!

  5. Oh my. I love buckwheat and millet and can imagine how flavorful this is! Beautiful photos too. Look at you, spreading the gospel of adventure bread to the world. ;)

    1. I cut the bread into slices and froze it, and it has become a regular part of my diet. I've done everything with this bread – today I used two thin slices of onion to cook eggs in, fried up a piece of bacon, and made an open-faced sandwich. I added black salt, pepper, and a bit of nutmeg to the top. Everything I do to this bread is fantastic. Thanks so much for introducing me to the concept of seed bread!

      I'm off to try your mint chocolate ice cream… dairy free. Wish me luck!

  6. Thank you, thank you, love this recipe. I used sesame instead of sunflower seeds because that is what I had in the pantry. My Italian, bread loving husband thought it was wonderful. Bless you….

  7. What a divine recipe. I used sesame seeds in place of the sunflower since that is what I had. It turned out great, served it to my non bread eating guests and they wanted the recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I have celiac disease and I never liked „bread with nuts”, so this was a twofold lifesaver, thank you! Would it be acceptable to you if I translated this recipe into Hungarian on my personal blog (a lot of people do not speak English and this would really help them)? With a link and acknowledgements to your blog, naturally.

  9. Cooked a small qty of mix in toasted sandwich maker, delicious with humus ,avocado, red onion and tomato. Great recipe.

    1. Sure, just use a different nut or seed. I'd probably go with pumpkin seeds since they're similar in shape and size to the sliced almonds. LMK how you like it!

  10. wow this looks so delicious!! Since im trying to eat more whole foods i was looking for a bread recipe w/o flour. Thank u so much :-)
    One question though: why do i need to add the oil? And do u think its possoble to replace it w more water/ to leave it out completely?

  11. I have diverticulitis so seeds and nuts can cause issues. Would it be possible to grind all ingredients to form a course flour and still make this bread?

    1. Hi Robert,

      I’m so sorry to hear that! I have no idea if that will work; my guess is you’d need to add a bit more liquid. If you give it a go please report back! :)

  12. I didn’t have a lot of these ingredients, so I substituted a lot. Not enough rolled oats, no psyllium, almonds on hand were either whole or ground…but, that didn’t stop me. I substituted ground almonds for most of the sliced and the rest was chopped. I used sesame seeds, too. Just, whatever I had. It turned out awesome. The opposite of balloon white!!

  13. This sounds great too! I am gradually trying out each of these life changing breads and having some good food too! Soup galore with my sands of all kinds. One healthy winter to come I think!
    I love the idea of molasses too, as I do, I think why didn’t I think of that….? Of course, perfect! So, my first try after Xmas for you are now in line is molasses as I just must do that one. Sounds like Hogmanay to me…what do you think?

  14. I made this last night and let it sit about 16 hours before baking it up this morning. I have to be honest, at first adding the water I was nervous it was too much, but it quickly soaked up and made a beautiful “batter” for the loaf. I baked it for an hour and 15 minutes in a glass loaf pan with parchment. The top came out crispy and the bread was still slightly soft in the middle. Being a gluten-free vegan, this is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for in a wholesome, nutrient-dense bread. It tastes nutty but still a bit of sweet. Absolute perfection. Going to try using this base for muffins next time! Thanks so much!

  15. Would it be possible to pulse/grind all or some dry ingredients? Or would that change the amounts? I’ve read the good stuff inchia is much more readily absorbed if it’s ground. Thanks! Can’t wait to try this recipe :)

    1. That’s such a good question. I’m guessing it would work, though you may need to add more water since the ground ingredients will likely absorb more liquid. Please report back if you give it a go!

  16. Hi, I made this last night and absolutely love it! It’s just what I was looking for. In your post, you mentioned adding pumpkin purée. Do you have to change the balance of any ingredients when you add a fruit/veggie purée to it? About how much did you add?

    1. Hi Jena, I’m so glad you like the bread! I actually ended up making a bunch of little tweaks to the pumpkin version and putting the recipe in my book, which is due out September 13, 2016. (Read all about it here: http://bojongourmet.com/cookbook/) I hope you don’t mind waiting a bit for the recipe!

  17. Made this recipe – baked this morning. Let it cool an hour, but couldn’t wait any longer. Sliced and had with a piece of cheese – omg heaven. I will never by crackers again. Will also use to spread with hummus. Yummy! Thanks.

  18. Hello friend! I decided to search for a bread recipe on your blog yesterday and sure enough, this one came up. I’ve made Sarah’s recipe numerous times, but after trying yours this morning (it sat for 4 hours in the pan before baking), I think it’s my favourite. The addition of the buckwheat and millet really add a lot of great flavour to it. I accidentally added in ground flax instead of whole (by weight, though) and even though I was a bit worried, it turned out perfectly. I just wanted to tell you (yet again), how much I appreciate your work! You have made my mornings much better. :)

  19. The recipe says to bake for 1 1/2 hours! at 400°…that’s a long time at such a high heat….I didn’t see another comment questioning the temperature, but I had to check to make sure.

    I hunted for a recipe like this. psyched to make it! Thanks!

    1. Yep, that’s right! Just make sure your oven is calibrated by using an external oven thermometer (you can buy them at any supermarket for about $10). You can take the bread out early or decrease the temp if the bread is overbrowning, but I’ve made it a zillion times as written. :)

  20. I made your bread yesterday and it is absolutely delicious. I am so glad that I found your recipe. My avocado toasts have a new dimension now 😀 Thank you

  21. I would love to make this bread but I do not like using psyllium. Do you have any suggestions what could I replace it with? I know it helps to make bread stick together and make the fluffier, softer texture, but I’d like to omit it if I can. Thank you :)

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