16 Feb 2010

Lembas does put heart into you - A Gift from the Elves

Lembas are a special form of elvish travelling rations. As most things crafted by Elves, Lembas have very unique properties. One single cake is enough to fill a man for a whole day, they help healing the wounded and give strength to the weak. As long as they remain unbroken and well wrapped into mallorn leaves, Lembas do keep fresh for a long time. Galadriel does provide the Fellowship of the Ring with Lembas on their departure from Lothlórien - a gift that will prove very valuable. At the beginning of time Lembas Bread was given to the Elves by Yavanna Kementári, protector of all things that grows, forests and trees. Yavanna is a Quenya name which means "fruit-giver'.

"The food was mostly in the form of very thin cakes, made out of meal that was baked a light brown on the outside, and inside was the colour of cream...." (J.R.R.Tolkien - Farewell to Lorien)

As the Fellowship is leaving Lothlórien today, I decided to have a go at baking my own Lembas as a little tribute . The exact ingredients of Lembas are unknown so what one uses does really come down to personal taste. To make my 6 Lembas Bread I used:

  • 2 1/2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of backing powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 7 tablespoon of cold butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

I Preheated my oven to 220 degrees Celcius (425 degrees Fahrenheit) then mix the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.I added the butter and mix with a fork until the mixture did resemble fine granules.Then I added the sugar and cinnamon, and I did mix them thoroughly.Finally I did add the milk and vanilla to form a thick dough form. Rolled the dough out about 1/2 in thickness. Cut out in squares and transfered the dough to a baking tray . As a final touch I used a small knife to carve the letter 'G' (Galadriel) in Quenya on the top.

While the Lembas were baking in the oven for about 12/15 minutes ( can be a bit more, depending on the thickness of the bread), I did use 2 sheets of green crafting foam to recreate the mallorn leaves.

Once Lembas were nice and golden I took them out of the oven and let them cool for about twenty minutes until they were ready to be wrapped into the mallorn leaves.

Almost done - still slightly warm and smelling delicious of cinnamon and vanilla I could not help but smile thinking about how much the Fellowship did enjoy them. Pippin and Merry in particular were very fond of Lembas, then again I am still to find a hobbit that does not like food :)

"The Lembas had a virtue without which they would long ago have lain down to die. It did not satisfy desire, and at times Sam's mind was filled with the memories of food, and the longing for simple bread and meats. And yet this waybread of the Elves had a potency that increased as travellers relied on it alone and did not mingle it with other food. It fed the will, and it gave strength to endure...." (J.R.R.Tolkien- Mount Doom)