Middle Earth Meals: Beorn’s Honey Bread

Hello dears!

It’s time for another Middle Earth Meal.

It was roughly around late July when Thorin and Company stayed at the home of Beorn. After their bout with the goblins and wolves, the Company found themselves without food, baggage or ponies. Since Beorn was one of the few people to live in those parts, Gandalf decided they should seek shelter at the home of the skin-changer…

“[Beorn] changes his skin; sometimes he is a huge black bear, sometimes he is a great strong black-haired man with huge arms and a great beard. I cannot tell you much more, though that ought to be enough. Some say that he is a bear descended from the great and ancient bears of the mountains that lived there before the giants came.”

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“At any rate he is under no enchantment but his own. He lives in an oak-wood and has a great wooden house; and as a man he keeps cattle and horses which are nearly is marvellous as himself. They work for him and talk to him. He does not eat them; neither does he hunt or eat wild animals. He keeps hives and hives of great fierce bees, and lives most on cream and honey.”

Since Beorn was known for his connection to nature, and his love for bees and honey, we decided honey bread would be the perfect recipe to make for this occasion.

Of course, we used raw, local honey because not only is it much healthier, it’s also a good way to help combat the disappearance of bees!

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Despite Beorn’s quick temper and distrust of Dwarves, he was gracious enough to let the Company stay and have dinner in his great wooden hall.

“There they had a supper, or a dinner, such as they had not had since they left the Last Homely House in the West and said good-bye to Elrond. The light of the torches and the fire flickered about them, and on the table were two tall red beeswax candles.”

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We topped our honey bread with (cinnamon) butter, honey, and clotted cream–just like they had in the book:

“…Gandalf pushed away his plate and jug – he had eaten two whole loaves (with masses of butter and honey and clotted cream) and drunk at least a quart of mead and he took out his pipe”

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This spread was perfect to enjoy by the light of the fading sunset and some beeswax candles.

(Recipe inspired by Beorn’s Honey Cake from Middle Earth Recipes. For those of you who do not eat gluten-free and dairy/egg free, you can use that recipe to make things simpler for yourselves!)

Beorn’s Honey Bread (Gluten Free + Dairy Free and Egg Free)

Ingredients:

  • 80g rapeseed oil, but you could use sunflower or coconut if you wish
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 225g gluten free self-raising flour (recipe here)
  • 125g honey (raw and local if you can get it)
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp of ground flaxseed mixed together with 6tbsp of water
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda mixed together with 1tbsp hot water

Honey Cinnamon Butter:

  • 1 stick unsalted dairy-free (or regular) butter, softened
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup, to taste
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste
  • pinch of salt (if using salted butter, omit)

Vegan Clotted Cream:

  • 50g vegan butter
  • 75g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4-6 tbsp coconut cream – If you can’t find coconut cream, use a chilled can of coconut milk and scoop the fat from the top

Preheat the oven to 400° F and lightly grease and line an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf tin.

Combine the ground flaxseed and the water and set aside to thicken.  Place the bananas, flour, honey, cinnamon, oil and ground flaxseed mixture into a food processor.  Add the hot water to the bicarbonate of soda (it will foam slightly) and immediately pour over the other ingredients.

Pulse the mixture in the food processor until smooth and glossy and then spoon into the lined loaf tin and level the top. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until golden and cooked through – if you think the loaf is browning too much (the honey can do this) just cover with a layer of tin foil and continue to bake.Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Top bread with honey cinnamon butter, clotted cream, and/or extra honey.

To make the honey cinnamon butter, combine the butter, honey, cinnamon, and pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Use the whisk attachment or hand held mixer and beat on medium speed until fluffy.

To make the clotted cream, use an electric whisk or stand mixer to mix together the vegan butter and icing sugar, creating a buttercream. Keep whisking, adding the coconut cream in a little bit at a time until it resembles a light fluffy cream and you’re pleased with the taste (you may want to add more coconut cream to make it less sweet.)

(Bread recipe from The Intolerant Gourmet, honey cinnamon butter recipe from Wife Mama Foodie, and clotted cream recipe from Wallflower Kitchen)

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If you try this recipe, be sure to let us know by commenting or by using the hashtag #makemorebreakfast

Thanks for reading!

Remember: adventure first, breakfast second

-Marissa and Victoria

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