Lembas Bread Recipe LOTR


“Lembas. Elvish waybread. One small bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man.” —Legolas

I am a total LOTR nerd-fan girl. In anticipation of the international release of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, I baked up some real life Lembas bread to sustain me through a LOTR marathon.

This vegan waybread recipe is a little different than the others I found while doing some research. Most versions seemed to be based on a classic shortbread, which while tasty, did not seem magical enough to me. I mean, if it’s going to fill your belly with just one teeny tiny bite like Legolas nibbles in the movie, there needs to be a few superfood ingredients! Am I right?  You could substitute a combination of different nuts or seeds, add dried fruit, use applesauce to make the recipe oil-free and work with whatever type of flour suits your fancy. This recipe is very flexible.

The result is a delicious breakfast-bar-sort-of-like-a-healthy-pop-tart thing. If you don’t reside in Midde earth, you may need to eat more than just one bite.

Are there any foods from other movies that you wish existed in real life? Leave me a comment 🙂

Note: Some people have had issues with the dough being too sticky. Please read the comment section below to see how you can tweak the recipe so that the dough will come together.

Lembas Bread Recipe LOTR
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
In the Lord of the Rings movie, Lembas Bread is said to "fill a man's stomach with just one bite". This vegan version will sustain you on a journey through Middle Earth.
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill gluten-free baking mix (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup organic coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2T white chia seeds plus 6T water
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Optional
  • non-poisonous leaves(I used Hawaiian Ti leaves but you could also use collard greens)
  • hemp twine
Instructions
  1. Mix chia and water,set aside for 5 minutes until it forms a gel.
  2. Add mashed banana, coconut oil, maple syrup, the chia gel and a pinch of salt to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Gently mix in flour. Do not over mix or your Lembas will be tough.
  4. Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate for one hour before rolling out.
  5. Flour your rolling pin and work surface.
  6. Roll dough ¼ thick and cut into squares with a cookie cutter.
  7. Use the blunt edge of a knife or spatula to mark an “X” on the top of each square.
  8. Do not cut all the way through. This “X’ will prevent the dough from rising an dbecoming misshapen.
  9. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
  10. Wrap in leaves and secure with twine.
  11. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days

 

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Comments:

  1. Get out, no you didn’t! This is so awesome!! It’s like my dream to pretend I live in Middle Earth and go on adventures LOTR style and this lembas recipe brings me one step closer. Now I just need a cape and a leaf brooch. 🙂

  2. What a terrific idea! Plus, their little leaf packages are adorable. 😀

  3. This looks so awesome! I was tempted to come up with some Hobbit themed recipes but haven’t allowed myself the time to think about it, lol.

  4. omg ur awesome hahahaha so creative

  5. Of all the recipes I’ve seen, I like this one the best. Can you suggest any other kinds of seeds that would work? Most shops where I live don’t sell chia seeds.

    • Aloha! So glad you enjoyed this recipe 🙂 You could use hemp,flax or even sesame seeds. Ground flax will turn into the gel like chia but if you use the other options, no need to soak, just add the seeds + water to the rest of the ingredients. Let me how it turns out if you give it a try!

  6. First, I’d like to say your video was adorable. My SO and I are huge fans of all things Tolkien and when he saw this video, he said this is a recipe he’d really like to try. And by try, he means eat, because he doesn’t cook. 😛

    Well, I’ve tried making this recipe twice now, and the dough/batter is just too sticky to work with. It sticks to everything. I cannot get it to come together into a neat ball of dough like it does in the video. I do not have bob’s red mill baking mix. I’d have to mail order that and pay a lot for it to get it. I used king arthur’s unbleached organic flour, which I can buy at a local market. However, I am left with the consistency of a very thick batter.

    I’ve given it extra time to chill. I even popped the dough in the freezer for half an hour. Even when I get it set enough to roll out on floured wax paper with a floured rolling pin, it’s a sticky terrible mess.

    I really am at a loss. Does the baking mix make that much of a difference? It was so wet and sticky I had to keep adding flour to get to the consistency that a cookie cutter would go through it and I could actually pull it away from the dough to get on a baking sheet, but even then, it was falling out of shape, stuck to the knife when I tried to score it and so on. It was thick, heavy, and rather tasteless probably because I had to add so much flour and have it flour powdered on the top and bottom just to thicken and dry it enough to cut it and get it on the baking mat.

    For the second attempt, I incorporated the flour more slowly, really trying to help it come together. After the two cups were gently mixed in, it was still a shapeless, sticky mass. I added flour, a spoonful at a time, trying to help it be dough and not batter. Absolutely no go. After getting the chilled dough/batter rolled out on the floured wax paper, it stuck to the cookie cutter, the wax paper, and the squares refused to keep their shape. I had to scrap it off the wax paper and into the bowl with the back of a butter knife to turn my second batch into muffins.

    Given the ingrediants and nature of this bread, it’s probably supposed to be dense and hearty. So, I’m sure it’s fine that that’s the way it is, but mine is probably tougher than it should be because it doesn’t become dough and I had to keep mixing in more flour trying to fix the oozing, stick-to-everything batter. It did not look like it was this difficult to work with on the video.

    Every ingrediant and measurement, except the baking mix, is the same. So I’m really not sure what is going wrong and why it’s more like thick, shapeless muffin batter, which does not roll out well, is too soft to cut, and less like bread dough.

    • Aloha Rina,Thank you for giving me all the background info. You are an awesome Mom for giving this not one but two tries! The baking mix should not be an issue, as I test my recipes with all-purpose flour as well as the GF counterpart. I don’t think climate should be an issue, since I live in hot & humid Hawaii and did not encounter the issue you’re having. And you are adding the entire 1/4 cup of coconut oil, right? Sometimes people want to reduce the oil, but it can’t be done in this recipe or you will get the sticky mess situation.

      I’m not a baker, so if I can do this, there’s hope for everyone else 🙂 I would try one or both of the following if you’re brave enough to give it another go:

      – Reduce the maple syrup down to 1/4 cup to resolve the stickiness or add a granular sweetener like coconut sugar. I think this will make a world of difference in being able to handle the dough. It will obviously change the flavor, so maybe add some vanilla instead?
      – Use coconut oil in a semi-solid state instead of liquid. If you live in a climate with a room temp over 76F degrees, just pop it in the fridge until it turns opaque.

      Please,please, please keep me posted so I can make any corrections to the original recipe. I really pride myself on only posting recipes that I have 100% success with, so I’m devastated that it was a fail for you.

    • I had the same happen. It’s not dough at all, more of a muffin mix like Rina ended up with. I did everything and used the exact listed ingredients, just as the recipe called for. My coconut oil was solid so I warmed it up to get a liquid like the video. It only needs to be at 75 degrees to liquefy so it doesn’t seem too hot. I’ve got enough to try this again so maybe I’ll try something a bit differently, although I have no idea what.

  7. Chanelle G says:

    I made this with KA’s UB Org Flour as well. When I made it, though, I used puréed pumpkin instead of banana — in my experience, it’s not as variable on moisture or smoothness as “ripe banana” and I’ve become used to working with it haha

    Another issue I’ve encountered w/vegan baking in the past is the chia:water ratio. I know the package and most books and blogs will say 1:3, but I err on the “rounded tablespoon” side for the 1and use warm water to form the gel.

    This won’t be appetizing to read, but… I approached my lembas dough much like I do my dough for dog biscuits. If it won’t come together, add a little more oil or a little flour or some bits of kibble (dry fruit, in this case haha) until it’s manageable.

  8. Thank you Cobi and Chanelle for the replies. I will try it again.

    But goodness, SO is shorthand for Significant Other 😉 Although I typo a lot, it was not a typo for son.

    I was warming up the jar of organic coconut oil in a pot of warm water, so it would be liquid before I added the 1/4 cup of it to the mixing bowl. I may try it semi-solid.

    I believe you are right. I think cutting back the maple syrup may help. That might be where a lot of the stickiness was coming from.

    The chia gel seemed all right, but maybe it was a little thin. I’ll keep a careful eye on it as well to see if it’s too soupy before I add it to the bowl. It’s my first time using chia, which I’ve never seen in anything before except for Chia pets. I have to admit, I am rather impressed with those little seeds. So, if nothing else, I learned about a great form of nutritious fiber.

    I’ll post again after round 3! (Which may be in while as there’s still lembas muffins in the house and they’re rather serious eating.)

  9. This is fantastic! Thanks, for the great recipe. The lembas is delicious. I felt like Merry and Pippin after making my first batch, because I ate about five pieces! Two of my favorite things are Tolkien’s books and the outdoors, so, I’ll definitely be using these for a trail snack.

    • Aloha Mike! Haha, I’ve been guilty of eating more than a square of Lembas myself 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Mahalo for stopping by!

  10. Do you have to use seeds at all? My hubby hates seeds and nuts. :/ is there something to sub it? I’m worried about not adding the proper water to it if I don’t add the seeds.

    Also, I’m thinking an organic penut butter might be a nice topper for this! Yumm.

    • Aloha Cassie, The chia seed gel acts as a binder,so they are necessary for the dough to come together. If your hubby doesn’t like the little seed texture,you can grind them up first. Or you can try substituting a vegan egg replacer, but I cannot guarantee the results. I love the idea of peanut butter spread on this! Let me know how your experiments turn out 🙂

  11. If you wrapped it before baking, I wonder if it would turn out like an asian style bun or tamale texture! The leaves would steam it yeah? I love the aesthetic of banana leaves!

    • Aloha Sarah, I love the idea of steaming. Since the dough is rather dense, I’m guessing it will be more like a tamale texture. Please let me know if you give it a try 🙂

  12. Loved the recipe….It really fills you up,,,,Thank you so much
    I did have the stickiness problem as well but I added more flour and it worked.

    • Aloha! Thank you so much for your feedback about the stickiness issue. Do you remember how much extra flour you added?

      • Hello…your welcome

        I don’t remember exactly how much but i think around 1/2 cup or a bit more. I will make it again soon. I loved it. it really is elvish^_^ I eat it for breakfast every morning and my sister loved it too….amazing,,,thank you so much for the recipe

      • Hello

        So I finally made it again and i had to add almost 11 Tbsp of flour..hope this helps.

  13. Is it possible to use applesauce instead of banana?

    • Yes! You may want to use a granular sweetener rather than maple syrup to prevent the dough from being overly sticky.

      • Unfortunately I had a similar problem to Rina, although I tried some substitutions for my diet. I don’t use maple syrup, so I substituted it with an equal amount of raw agave, and I used a 1/2 cup of applesauce instead of the banana, since I cannot eat bananas. It ended up being way too sticky, so I had to add extra flour, and then generously dust my rolling pin and rolling surface. When I baked them…let’s just say it was a complete disaster. I’m thinking it was probably the applesauce. I wanted to make the lembas for LOTR/elven themed gift baskets this past Sunday. Unfortunately I was unable to include the lembas in there, since I had to discard them. They tasted pretty awful. 🙁

        Maybe I should use coconut palm sugar instead, if I decide to make them again. *sigh*

  14. Michelle says:

    So I made lembas bread today and followed the instructions. I doubled everything to make more. They actually turned out pretty good! Instead of using coconut oil I used organic applesauce.

    I actually didn’t have a rolling pin so I used the muffin tins. I filled them half way.. They really didn’t really rise so I would only fill up the base of the tins not even half way because the consisentcy is really thick. I felt like I should have went on a journey after making them! Lol

    Loved your recipe 😀

    Any recommendations on what I should do next time or advice? 🙂

    • Aloha Michelle, This “bread” does not rise at all, so I think the muffin tin technique is a good alternative if one doesn’t have a rolling pin. Were yours kind of similar in texture to a scone?

      • Michelle says:

        Hello!! Well, not really they were thick and kind of dense. The scones I’ve tried were kind of crunchy. These were soft. I really don’t know what kind of texture they’re supposed to have.. :/

        • If you follow my recipe, as demonstrated in the video, the texture of this Lembas is sort of like a pop tart. The outside is a bit crisp and the center is sort of chewy like a fig newton. Other recipes I’ve seen online are more like a shortbread cookie in texture. I have not experimented with baking this dough in a muffin tin as you described, so am not able to advise how to improve the texture. I’m not an expert baker, just a LOTR fan.

          • Michelle says:

            🙂 yes I watched your video. I’m going to go back and watch it again and attempt it once more. It’s fun making these. For some reason the dough I end up having is sticky and won’t roll out with a rolling pin at all. I have the idea it’s the applesauce.. So this time I’ll use the oil instead. It’s fun to bake and yes I am too!!! 😀
            I’ll let you know how it turns out when I make them again.

          • Michelle says:

            So I just completed round 3 of lembas and this time it turned out perfect. I actually noticed that I didn’t add 6T with the chia seeds and have been doing only 2T so that was mistake.

            I did what Rina did this time actually. Used sugar and maple and vanilla extract. The sugar I used was Sugar in the Raw. This time I didn’t use syrup (obvi. since I used extracts) and I didn’t use applesauce.. I used coconut oil like the recipe calls for. I think what my problem was using maple syrup and applesauce together like that made it not want to turn to dough and this time I left it in the refrigerator to thicken longer than I did before. Everyone loves this stuff and my cousin wants me to bring some with me when we go to Ren Fest! Yay!
            Thanks again for posting this. It’s really easy to follow and it tastes so good 😀 may everyone have safe journeys!

          • So glad to hear that it worked out Michelle! And thank you for your recipe notes 🙂

          • Michelle says:

            Yea! 🙂 thank you and you’re welcome. The sugar I used was Sugar in the Raw: Turbinado sugar sorry I forgot to list that part.. About the exact kind. One of the main things to make sure it’s flatten to 1/4 inch like you have in the recipe! I didn’t do that last time obviously so I wanted to mention that as well. 🙂

  15. Hi, I just wanted to give my follow up reply, as I just made my Lembas Round 3. For me, as you predicted, the maple syrup was the problem with the stickiness that wouldn’t let the dough form up. So, I followed everyone’s advice here and I finally had the dough come together correctly!

    I used two ~heaping~ tablespoons of the chia seeds. I replaced the 1/2 cup of maple syrup with a 1/2 cup of sugar. To keep the maple flavor, I added 1 tsp of maple extract and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. I also added 1/3 cup of diced coconut because, well, I like coconut. ^_^ I mixed the mashed banana, chia gel, extracts, coconut oil, and diced coconut really well and then I added the flour by weight, a generous 280 grams (so a bit over two cups) and folded it in with a spatula until everything was absorbed and the flour wasn’t powdery anywhere. It came together quickly, just like the video this time. For the first time, I had a nice ball of dough in the mixing bowl and I put it in the fridge to chill.

    An hour later, it rolled out nicely on waxed paper with a dusting of flour. I really only had to use like two extra tsp of flour for rolling out the dough and dusting the rolling pin. The only thing that made it sticky was the mashed banana, but it was very manageable this time.

    I got a dozen little lembas squares and I had no trouble scoring them with the knife either. The only one that was dodgy was the ‘left over’ square that I had pressed into cookie cutter shape with the back of a spoon. All the others look neat and clean.

    My kitchen smells amazing right now and the lembas look adorable, and for the first time, they’re well-shaped squares (although a little lumpy due to the diced coconut I added). It’s still a very filling bread, but it’s lighter and much more tasty than previous attempts because I didn’t over mix it and overload it with flour trying to make it less sticky.

    Thanks for the help everyone!

  16. LizJeffryes says:

    I tried this recipe as you have it written (except I used flaxseed meal instead of chia seed), and it was a big hit at my family’s Easter get-together. Also, today I made it with flaxseed meal, honey and dried figs instead of maple syrup and banana, and although the texture is a little tougher it is delicious! My daughter loves it both ways 🙂

    • Aloha Liz! I bet it was awesome with flax,figs and honey. Thank you so much for the recipe notes, as I’m sure they will be helpful to others as well.

  17. Added unsweetened shredded coconut and fresh ground cinnamon – baking time was different, but other than that, wonderful!

  18. Wow love your recipe! I had no problems until the fourth time I made it… Got really sticky like others have said– but when I added flour it turned out fine!
    Le fael (thank you in elvish)

    • Thank you for the update! Was the weather hot and/or humid when you made it and it got sticky? How much additional flour did you use?

  19. JoeWill92 says:

    Has anyone tried it with molasses instead of maple syrup?

    • Yes, you can also use molasses as a sweetener. However, I would not recommend it as a first choice, since it might make the dough hard to handle.

  20. Hello Cobi

    There is only one thing I’m not sure to understand in your recipe, about the chia seeds, is what the T stand for ?

    As it is a refined product I would like to be sure before testing your amazing recipe.

    Tank you very much for it ^^

  21. I replaced the maple sirup (which I didn’t have at home) with honey and used a little less coconut oil, as for the flour I used spelt. It was a little too sticky but I managed to get some roughly square shaped pieces by cutting it with a knife. Should the rolled out dough be 1/4 inch thick or 1/4 cm?

    • I appreciate the update! The dough should be rolled out to 1/4 inch thickness. Did you enjoy the flavor? I have not experimented with straight spelt flour and am curious as to how that might change the flavor or if it does?

  22. I’ve always that if Lembas bread were to exist in the real world, it would have to contain quinoa. Only a grain as fiber-rich and complete-protein-rich and calorie-rich as quinoa would be capable of even *approaching* the dream of “filling a stomach with a single bite.”

    How would one go about reformulating this recipe to use Quinoa flower, or at the very least to contain a significant amount of quinoa in some form?

    • Quinoa flour on it’s own actually has less fiber per 1/4 cup serving (2g vs 3g) than the garbanzo, fava, tapioca blend I used in this recipe but you can definitely experiment if that’s your preference. I don’t have any desire to reformulate this recipe because I find it to be perfect for my taste as written but please let me know if you come up with a fantastic variation.

  23. Just tried out this recipe and the taste was just as amazing as the smell wafting out of the oven. The dough was quite sticky to roll with, so just kept sprinkling it with extra flour as i rolled the dough out, until it was a rollable dough consistency. This will be perfect when paired with a cup of hot tea. With love from an australian tester!

    • Love hearing the updates from around the world,thank you friend! Australia keeps hitting my radar so far this year, may have to plan a trip down 🙂

  24. AWESOME!!! Make sure I’m gonna try it!
    By the way, when you say about thw chia, what does “2T, 6T” means? Sorry, it’s just that english is not my native language so some things are pretty hard to understand.
    Thank you so much!
    Keep being that healthy and incredible! 😀

    Hantalë!
    Tenna rato!

  25. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve been LARPing as an elf for over a decade, and I’ve seen a bunch of lembas recipes that are basically cookies. Tasty, but not really helpful when you’re running through the woods for a few days. These actually have a fair bit of nutrition and are filling enough to make great snacks at game, while staying in character. Huzzah!

  26. I love this idea and it looks and sounds fantastic. I was thinking of making hardtack or Lembas or something in between on a camping trip, but we may not have access to a refrigerator. Any idea on how to keep this stable for a week or so without a fridge?

  27. Mila Berry says:

    Love it! can’t wait to make more!!

  28. Nothing changes if instead of using white chia seeds i use normal chia seeds ?

  29. I’m sorry, I know this may seem like a silly question, but does T stand for teaspoon or tablespoon?

    • Hi Skye, there are no silly questions 🙂 A capital “T” stands for tablespoon and “tsp” is a teaspoon.

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