Over the span of history, the desire to explore – to wander – to discover new places… this has been a driving force in many of mankind’s greatest accomplishments. Of course, in order to do so, there must be provisions; food for the trip! Salted meats and fishes prevailed on sea journeys, whereas waybreads, dried meats, and dried fruits were ubiquitous for land voyages, leading to a class of provisions known as waybreads.
The most famous of these, to the Tolkien scholar, will of course be Lembas bread. But the elves of Rivendell certainly thought Bannock to be more than a simple, tasteless waybread, as they sang in celebration:
The bannocks are baking!
the valley is jolly,
Bannock is simple to prepare, and will keep for many weeks. This durable recipe is a cousin to Lembas, of course, though it lacks the particular elven magic that brings Lembas’ remarkable sustenance! But the elves do bake bannock, and here is a recipe for it!
- 1 c. whole wheat or barley flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 2-4 tbsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- ⅓ c. water
- ¼ c. oil
- Honey, butter, or peanut butter
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add the water, then mix until a moderately thick dough is formed. The dough should be sufficiently runny such that it spreads out when spooned into a frying pan.
- Add love, mixing thoroughly until the love integrates into the entire mixture.
- Oil a large, heavy pan with half of the oil, and heat until medium-hot.
- Spoon 3 large spoonfuls of the dough into the pan, cooking to a golden brown (1-2 minutes) on each side. After flipping each biscuit, press down until the bannock is around ½” (1-1.5 cm) high. The 3 spoonfuls should comprise roughly half of the dough mixture. Repeat once the initial batch is finished.
- Serve with honey, butter, or peanut butter.