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How to Make Whole-Wheat Quinoa Bread

Why this recipe works White sandwich breads are a lunchbox classic, but we also like having whole-wheat options for our sandwiches. We set out to create a loaf that was high in protein and packed with nutrients, and thought that hearty quinoa and a bit of nutty-tasting flaxseeds would be great additions to a whole-wheat loaf. We started with a combination of bread flour and wholewheat flour. Using bread flour allowed us to pack a good amount of cooked quinoa into the dough; its high protein content gave us a sturdy crumb. We tested various methods of preparing the quinoa before incorporating it into the loaf, from toasting the raw kernels to softening them in liquid. Simply cooking the quinoa in the microwave with a measured amount of water until all the liquid was absorbed gave the bread just the right texture. Incorporating a small amount of oil helped coat the protein strands, making the loaf more moist and tender, and adding 3 full tablespoons of honey balanced the earthiness of the quinoa. Sprinkling 1 teaspoon of raw flaxseeds and 1 teaspoon of raw quinoa atop the loaf just before baking gave each slice pleasant textural contrast and crunch. The test kitchen’s preferred loaf pan measures 8½ by 4½ inches; if you use a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, increase the shaped rising time by 20 to 30 minutes and start checking for doneness 10 minutes earlier than advised in the recipe. We do not recommend mixing this dough by hand.

  • makes 1 loaf
  • rising time 2½ to 3½ hours
  • baking time 45 minutes
  • total time 4½ to 5½ hours, plus 3 hours cooling time
  • key equipment stand mixer, 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan, pastry brush, instant-read thermometer


  • 1 cup (8 ounces) water, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup (1¾ ounces) plus 1 teaspoon prewashed white quinoa
  • 1½ cups (8¼ ounces) bread flour
  • 1 cup (5½ ounces) whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon flaxseeds
  • 2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) whole milk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water and pinch salt

1). Microwave ¾ cup water and ⅓ cup quinoa in covered bowl at 50 percent power until water is almost completely absorbed, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through microwaving. Uncover quinoa and let sit until cooled slightly and water is completely absorbed, about 10 minutes.


2). Whisk bread flour, whole-wheat flour, 2 tablespoons flaxseeds, yeast, and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk milk, honey, oil, and remaining water in 4-cup liquid measuring cup until honey has dissolved. Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add milk mixture to flour mixture and mix until cohesive dough starts to form and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.


3). Increase speed to medium-low and knead until dough is smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to low, slowly add cooked quinoa, ¼ cup at a time, and mix until mostly incorporated, about 3 minutes.


4). Transfer dough to lightly floured counter. Using your lightly floured hands, knead dough until quinoa is evenly distributed and dough forms smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.


5). Grease 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan. Press down on dough to deflate. Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter (side of dough that was against bowl should now be facing up) and press into 8 by 6-inch rectangle, with long side parallel to counter edge.


6). Roll dough away from you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Pinch seam closed and place loaf seam side down in prepared pan, pressing dough gently into corners.


7). Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise until loaf reaches 1 inch above lip of pan and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your knuckle, 1 to 1½ hours.


8). Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon quinoa and 1 teaspoon flaxseeds in bowl. Gently brush loaf with egg mixture and sprinkle with quinoa mixture. Bake until golden brown and loaf registers 205 to 210 degrees, 45 to 50 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let loaf cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and let cool completely on wire rack, about 3 hours, before serving.


a step-by-step guide