Elven Lembas bread: one bite will satisfy a man for an entire day

Updated in November 2016, just for ya’all: *smooch*

Under its rather quiet appearance is a very tasty and filling treat.

Under its rather quiet appearance is a very tasty and filling treat.

Ladies, oh, sweet, dear, hard-working keepers of the home: aren’t there days you’d love to just pull out the Lembas bread and put it on a plate and be done with dinner, already? And you MEN. . . those of you who would like to take off for the day without worrying about what you will pick up for your luncheon . . .

Let’s pop into author J.R.R. Tolkien’s imaginary world of Middle-earth, just for a few moments. The hobbits who lived in their cozy little underground homes were all about peace and comfort and good food, and indeed, I get hobbits, being a little preoccupied with comfort and good food and such, myself.

To prove this point, at this very moment in my home, the wood stove is running hot against the chill of a breezy day, there’s vegetable beef stew in the crock-pot for supper, and Amalia’s Lembas bread sits cooling on the countertop. If I was a foot shorter and had furry feet, I might actually be mistaken for a hobbit, myself.

Lembas, also called Way bread, was a special type of bread or cake made by the Elves in Tolkien’s books. Lembas was pocket-sized, very nutritious, stayed fresh for months when wrapped in leaves, and was a type of superfood carried along on long journeys. Think super-powered energy bars.

According to the books (I’m referring, of course, to the Lord of the Rings trilogy) Lembas was brownish on the outside, and cream-colored on the inside. The secret of Lembas was very closely guarded, and it was not given to anybody who was not an Elf except on very special occasions. Like other products of the Elves, it was offensive to evil creatures; the loathsome creature Gollum refused to eat it.

Haven’t read the books? Oh, please, you really must:

Click here to take an exceptional adventure. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the morning, as they were beginning to pack their slender goods, Elves that could speak their tongue came to them and brought them many gifts of food and clothing for the journey. The food was mostly in the form of very thin cakes, made of meal that was baked a light brown on the outside, and inside was the colour of cream.” – The Fellowship of the Ring

(photo credit to http://2.bp.blogspot.com)

” . . . we call it lembas or way bread, and it is more strengthening than any food made by Men . . .”

–the Elves, in The Fellowship of the Ring.

I am one lucky mama, for I have a daughter who really loves to cook.ย  Even better, she’s 17 years old, so I’ll get to enjoy her cooking for several more months before she spreads her wings and takes off to college or whatever adventures she is currently keeping carefully hidden from me.

(By the way . . . any mama will know that I’ve certainly earned this blessing.) A devotee of the works ofย  Tolkien, Amalia has been experimenting with a recipe for Lembas bread, the Elvish bread written about in his books.

Amalia has been experimenting on hobbit-like recipes for some time. I wouldn’t be surprised if she stumbled onto the Elvish Lembas secrets, in her own pretty imagination.ย  She started out by using a recipe that she found online, and then (in her way) she played around with it until she liked it better. We’ve been enthusiastic guinea pigs to her baking efforts. Don’t stop experimenting (*burp*) yet, Amalia!

This last batch that Amalia made was so delicious that I knew she must be very close, indeed, to the secret Elvish recipe, and I decided that it was time to share it with you, my darling Gentle Readers.ย  Because, after all, who doesn’t need an exceptional superfood from time to time?

Amalia’s Lembas bread is buttery and rich, and just a little sweet. I don’t know if one bite will honestly satisfy a man for an entire day (I rather doubt it) as the Elves claimed, but it’ll more than likely satisfy your tribe for some time, anyway!

Why not give it a try today? Oh–and a skiff of peanut butter and a drizzle of honey does not, after all, go amiss on this treat! Here is Amalia’s recipe:

4.7 from 9 reviews
Lembas bread: one bite will satisfy a man for an entire day
Author: 
Recipe type: bread(ish)
Cuisine: elven
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Just a few ingredients and a few minutes of your time to mix them together, and you'll please any Lord of the Ring fans with these tasty breads!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar or ¼ cup honey
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar or honey. Add the flour and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Put out on suitable surface and knead until quite smooth, about 5 minutes, adding a bit of flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking.
  3. Roll out to about ¼ inch thickness and cut into 3" to 4" squares, scoring with a knife halfway through each square with a butter knife. Place on buttered cookie sheet and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

Hey . . . hey . . . hey!! Guess what? My Tolkien-crazy daughter Amalia and I finished writing our Hobbit-inspired recipe ebook, “Recipes from a Halfling’s Pantry: lots of these” and it is now available for sale!

It is a big, fat, recipe-full and photo-rich ebook, which you can download and refer to again and again for all your hearty, delicious, cozy meals. We are offering it in “Pay What You Want!” format, so click here to get yours today, for as much as you’d like to pay! $1.00 . . . or $10.00 . . . or $100.00 . . . or . . . ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course any income that Amalia and I make from this ebook, we’ll use to support our blogs.

Also, if you’d like to check out Amalia’s bookish blog, Second Breakfast, here is where you click to get to it.

Thank you so much! See . .. here’s the cover of our ebook. Isn’t it a beauty??

Isn't it pretty??

Isn’t it pretty??

By the way . . . do you keep an Amazon list most of the time? I find that I do. I live over an hour’s drive from the city where I can shop, so online ordering if becoming more and more convenient for me. And if you can get free shipping and great prices . . . wow, why not? If you click through with my links, Amazon will pay me a few pennies, and it won’t cost a cent extra for you. Any income I make from this blog, I pour right back into it, so I do appreciate your support! Thanks for popping in!

75 thoughts on “Elven Lembas bread: one bite will satisfy a man for an entire day

  1. Lianda

    I haven’t read those books since the dinosaur’s roamed the earth- but love the imaginary world of the Hobbits. And that recipe sounds WONDERFUL- Amalia sounds like she did a great job- and I’m going to check out the recipe! In fact, it made me realize, I’m hungry!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Alana, You’re so sweet. I will make sure that Amalia sees your comment because it’s going to make her day!! Thanks so much!

  2. Katie S

    I love the sound of that recipe – and your daughter’s creativity! I’m a big fantasy fiction fan myself, and the Hobbits will always have a warm place in my heart. I’ll have to give this a shot!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Katie,
      Every time I think of those books, I just float away on a wave of nostalgia, because I think they were the first REAL books that I read. You know what I mean–REAL books in that they just carried me away and left me breathless, wanting more. I was in junior high or so. I’d love to read them again for the first time–again!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Yup, Chef, when you get tired of cooking and need a day off (or three) make some Lembas bread! Really, it is very tasty. I like it with a skiff of butter and a drizzle of honey . .. yum . .

  3. Authiel Erynien

    I made these the other day for a friend’s birthday party, since most of our social circle consists of LARPers and fantasy fans. They went over super well!

    I’ve made lembas several times before, but I’ve always felt that, while good, it was too bland to be of Elven-make. This recipe wasn’t the case at all, and this is currently my favorite lembas recipe for that reason. I made a slight change; instead of using brown sugar OR honey, I used both. I’m one of those people who really loves honey in lembas, and I didn’t want to sacrifice the brown sugar taste; besides, I like sweet things, and lembas has always been sweet in my mind. I also brushed a bit of the honey on top of the lembas before baking, and I added a bit of cinnamon (about 3/4 tsp for one batch, more or less; your mileage may vary depending on how much you like cinnamon) to the dough, since I did like the use of cinnamon in other lembas recipes and it would play up the spice notes in the raw honey I used (Pine Barrens honey). The result was buttery and sweet, but not sickening or sugary. I think it tasted fairly Elvish, if that means anything.

    I used banana leaves for wrapping, and tied them up with raffia: https://scontent-a-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1/1524569_633167683397113_2144360480_n.jpg

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Wow, Thank you, thank you for all these notes about your lembas bread-making. I’ll share them with my daughter Amalia, who is really the lembas bread maker in the family. She’ll love doing some experimenting! And say, your photo with the banana leaves wrapped around the bread was really neat!

  4. Vince

    I wonder if this recipe could be made more sustaining by giving it the “Cornell bread” treatment(adding wheat germ, soy flour, and dried milk to the flour for added protein and fiber). Off to the kitchen I go…

  5. David

    This is a shortbread cookie recipe, so it is actually a pastry instead of waybread. Lembas, or elven waybread, was modeled after hardtack bread of a higher quality. Still, it’s a nice touch of LotR theme to the delicious cookie.

    1. Timothy

      David, the books never actually say that Lembas bread was similar to hardtack. Many people assume that Tolkien modeled it after hardtack, but that doesn’t mean that it was hardtack. In fact I think that the only resemblance is the long shelf life, since Gimli is quoted saying that Lembas is similar to and actually tastier than the honey-cakes that Beorn gave them, which were described as sweet and light. Traditional hardtack is more of a salty cracker, which not only doesn’t sound Elvish but also isn’t what Gimli describes. Thus I would argue that this recipe is actually more true to the book in flavor and texture, even though it probably won’t last as long on a shelf.

        1. EZ

          They’re referred to as “cakes”, so something biscuitish would be more what I would expect than hardtack or cram. I’m definitely going to try this one.

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    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Eya,
      Aren’t they delicious? I really love to drizzle a bit of honey on them while they are warm. AND they don’t need butter, but the tiniest skiff of good butter does not go amiss . . .

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      How hot does your oven get, Serena? I’d try to bake them anyway, cooler temps will just result in slower baking. Experiment and let me know what you find!

        1. Serena

          Ah that makes sense! I’m in Celsius (I did think for a moment that some conversion would be needed). Thanks! Can’t wait to try this now

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Legend has it, Dave, that it totally will. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you can keep the Hobbits from snacking on it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Christina Mondry

    This recipe is so EASY! I’m only 14 and I can make this! Can’t wait to see -and taiste- how it turns out when I make it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Christina, good for you! It’s so easy that you’re going to make them again and again! If you like the recipe, check out our ebook on the subject, too: it’s full of rich and filling and easy-to-make Hobbit fare: https://gumroad.com/l/Otsk
      Oh, and send me pics and I’ll share them on my blog!

  8. Dianna

    Just made these and because my kitchen is warm, put the dough in the fridge for a few minutes to roll out easier. Delicious!!!. I may sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before baking the next time I make them.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Dianna, I agree that they are even more scrumptious with a bit of sweetener added. I also like to drizzle honey on top when they are warm . . . yummm . . .

  9. Ghosty

    I’ve made this so many times now! My family loves them and get really excited when i make them. even my mom, who’s really not a sweets person. They’re all LotR fans too. I use a few shakes of cinnamon and found that walnuts make them delicious! It even penetrated the phenomenon of when you make food and it tastes not as good to you but everyone else loves it. try the walnuts.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Walnuts sound like a perfect addition! Thank you so much! I’ll share that with my daughter, too, who makes this recipe most often in our house. Did you know that we have an ebook available with lots more Hobbit-inspired recipes? You can pick it up here: https://gumroad.com/products/Otsk/edit# Thanks again for your comment!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I use Fahrenheit, Lucy. But I’m sure there are calculators online that you can figure the Fahrenheit to Celsius, if need be.

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  11. Ali

    Hi!
    Really wanted to try this but needed to covert everything being in UK.
    Here is the conversion should anyone else need it.
    160 degrees celsius or gas mark 3

    240g butter
    90g Brown sugar
    220g flour.

    Ill let you know how we get on!

  12. Pamela

    Wow this looks great. I am going to make it as soon as I am done with this post, as well as a recipe from Vegan, Not Gross, which I have made before. I like the taste of seeds and natural things but my girls are not so enamoured of them ๐Ÿ™‚ I am SURE that they will like Amalia’s recipe and I am looking forward to it myself. THANK YOU not only for sharing your family’s recipies but also your faith and interests. It is so great to meet another person who loves Jesus and enjoys the SciFi/Fantasy genre. We seem to be a rare breed ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, Amalia, (so close to the Sindarin term “amaelin” . . . meaning “beloved”–surely not a coincidence!) for letting your Mama share your recipe!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Pamela,
      Thank you for your kind words. I personally don’t see a conflict in being a believer of Jesus, and enjoying SciFi/Fantasy. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were both devout Christians, and God made the final frontier, after all, strange worlds “where no man has gone before!!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ You are very sweet and your suspicions that Amalia is truly beloved are spot-on. Thanks again for your comment!

  13. Pamela

    These were very good, rather reminiscent of shortbread. I used whole wheat white flour and found my dough to bit dry and crumbly, but I may have measured the butter with the wrong measuring cup! I just added a bit more butter and sugar. I will make these again and I bought your cookbook!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Pamela, thank you so much for purchasing our cookbook! I’d love to hear about your experiences making the recipes. Don’t you just love the white whole wheat flour? I use it all the time. Using it is a great way to get the whole wheat, without the graininess of the red wheat.

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  15. Diane

    I couldn’t find the quote, but I recall reading that lembas bread was twice baked, which sounds like biscotti. That could be another avenue for exploration.

    1. Diane

      My bad. I found the reference, but the twice baked cakes are what Beorn gave to Bilbo and the dwarves, not lembas. It would still be fun to duplicate them, though.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Lisa, I would recommend finding an online calculator to do those calculations for you. Easy-peasy! And good luck with the recipe!

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