Rustic Bread Recipe – For Fantasy Feasts

rustic bread recipe

This recipe today is not based off of any specific story, but an overall genre: fantasy! Fantasy is definitely my favorite genre in books, movies, and even video games. In pretty much every fantasy food scene, you’ll see some type of rustic bread. So, to help round out your fantasy feasts, I made some rustic bread! I adapted this crusty homemade bread recipe, and it turned out awesome.

As you can see from the photo, this bread works best when you tear off chunks rather than slicing it. Serve it with your favorite meats and cheeses, or just slather it with butter and jam. The possibilities are endless!

crusty bread recipe
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Rustic Bread Recipe - For Fantasy Feasts

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope rapid rise yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.

  2. Leave the dough in the bowl, and allow it to rise for 1 hour.

  3. Punch the dough down and form it into a ball shape.

  4. Place the dough ball onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat.

  5. Cover the dough loosely with a towel, and allow it to rise for another hour.

  6. Cut a slit in the top of the dough ball with a sharp knife.

  7. Cover the dough loosely with aluminum foil, and bake at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes.

  8. Remove the foil, and bake for 25 minutes more, or until the bread is a deep golden brown color.

 

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Cock-a-Leekie Soup – A Narnia Recipe

 

Narnian cock-a-leekie soup

The meal — which I suppose we must call dinner, though it was nearer tea time — was cock-a-leekie soup, and hot roast turkey, and a steamed pudding, and roast chestnuts, and as much fruit as you could eat.

-The Silver Chair

In The Silver Chair, the children, along with Puddleglum the Marshwiggle, become hopelessly lost in their quest to find the prince. They are tired and freezing cold when they find the House of Harfang, which they soon discover is a royal court filled with giants. The giant king and queen take them in and give them warm clothes and a hot meal, including cock-a-leekie soup.

Pole, Scrubb, and Puddleglum are super creeped out by these giants, even though they are being nice, and it turns out they have good reason to be creeped out, as the giants are not as nice as they seem! Still, the soup seemed hearty and comforting, so I wanted to recreate it.

Outside of the Narnia books, I had never heard of cock-a-leekie soup before, and I actually had no idea what it even was. So, I did some research and found out that cock-a-leekie soup is a traditional Scottish dish made of chicken and leeks (hence the name). Before making this soup, I had never purchased or cooked leeks before in my life. I don’t even think I had ever eaten leeks before, though it’s possible I have and just didn’t realize it or don’t remember. Either way, this was a new and interesting experience for me!

Cock-a-leekie soup is traditionally thickened with rice or barley. I love barley in soup, but I couldn’t find any barley in the store I normally shop at. I had rice at home, but I have a strong aversion to rice in soup (the reasons for which I will not get into on this blog!). In my research, I did find one source that stated potatoes could be used in place of barley or rice, so I went with that.

Traditionally, cock-a-leekie soup also contains prunes, but my sources say that it is acceptable to leave them out, and I went with that because prunes are gross 😉 .

This soup was rather unique and very enjoyable. I look forward to making it again when I can get my hands on some barley.

Cock-a-Leekie Soup - A Narnia Recipe

Cock-A-Leekie Soup – A Narnia Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 bone-in chicken thighs (or 4 bone-in chicken drumsticks)
  • 1 leek, sliced (see bottom of page for more info)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley

Directions

  1. Place the chicken stock, carrot, celery, potato, onion, and chicken in a large pot, cover the pot, and cook on medium-high heat for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pot, remove the meat from the bones, and place the chicken meat back into the pot. Discard the bones.
  3. Add the leeks, salt, pepper, and parsley to the pot.
  4. Cook for 30 more minutes on medium heat.

For anyone like me who has never cooked with leeks before, here’s how to slice a leek: Cut the bottom root off the leek (about 1/2 inch off the white bottom). Cut about half of the green part of the leek off the top. Discard the roots and the tops of the leaves. Wash the leek well, as it may have dirt in the little crevices. Slice the remaining parts of the leek, white parts and green parts. The white part of the leek resembles an onion both in taste and appearance.

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Mrs. Beaver’s Homemade Bread – A Chronicles of Narnia Recipe

Mrs. Beaver's Homemade Bread - A Chronicles of Narnia Recipe

One of the most quaint little scenes in The Chronicles of Narnia is when the Pevensie children are invited into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. Mrs. Beaver cooks them all a delicious dinner, and even packs up some food for them to take on their journey.

One of the foods she packs is a loaf of homemade bread, which she later uses to make ham sandwiches on the road. I love crusty homemade breads more than practically anything, but I figured a bread with a softer crust would work better for ham sandwiches, so I found this recipe from King Arthur Flour and adapted it slightly. The butter gives the bread a nice flavor, and the milk helps to make the crust softer. Perfect for sandwiches!

Mrs. Beaver’s Homemade Bread – A Chronicles of Narnia Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 envelope instant yeast

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Use the dough hook attachment to knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it forms a smooth consistency.
  3. Grease the bowl, and allow the dough to sit in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
  4. Shape the dough into a loaf form. I do this by rolling it out into a rectangle with a rolling pin, then rolling up the rectangle length-wise. Then, I pinch the edges closed and fold them underneath the loaf and place it seam-side down into a loaf pan.
  5. Allow the dough to rise once more, again to about double in size.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until the crust turns golden brown.

If you’ve never made homemade bread before, don’t be intimidated! Here are the three most important things to remember:

Water/Milk Temperature

The liquid should be warm, but not hot. Too cold, and the yeast will not activate. Too hot, and the yeast will die. Think of the temperature of bath water. This is the perfect temperature for bread making.

Amount of Flour

Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time if you’re unsure how much you need. The dough should come together nicely without being sticky. If it’s sticky, just keep slowly adding flour until it reaches a good consistency.

Kneading

Kneading helps form the chewy texture you find in good bread. If you have a dough hook attachment on a mixer, that works perfectly. If not, there are tons of tutorials online for how to hand knead bread dough. It’s actually kind of fun!

 

I hope you enjoy this process as much as you enjoy eating the final product. Homemade bread is one of life’s simple joys, and I think that’s something Mrs. Beaver knew a lot about.

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Mr. Tumnus’ Sugar-Topped Cake – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Recipe

Mr. Tumnus' Sugar-Topped Cake - Narnia Recipe

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which is the first book in The Chronicles of Narnia, Lucy meets a faun in the woods. This faun, named Mr. Tumnus, invites Lucy to come have tea with him. This is possibly one of the most iconic scenes in the book, and it’s no doubt why. The combination of the beautiful snowy scene with the meeting of a magical creature is the stuff of fantasy.

C.S. Lewis goes into great detail describing the contents of the table at that tea, and among them is a “sugar-topped cake.” There have been many interpretations of this cake on different blogs and cookbooks, and each author has their own idea as to how that cake might have looked and tasted.

In the Official Narnia Cookbook, the cake is described as one with bits of dried fruit inside. I thought that sounded gross, as I’m not a huge fan of dried fruits in baked goods. The recipe also says that the cake is topped with a sugar icing, and not just sugar on its own. The icing seemed too fussy for me for an everyday sort of tea like this one, though.

Taking these things into consideration, I decided to make a crumb coffee cake dusted with powdered sugar. I know this is pretty inauthentic but, it’s my blog and I’ll cook what I want to! 😉 Plus, this coffee cake was yummy.

I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Mix together the egg, milk and vanilla in a large bowl.
  2. Sift 1 1/2 cups of the flour together with the sugar, baking powder and salt on top of the wet mixture.
  3. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together.
  4. Pour the batter into a well-greased square or round dish.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and remaining 1 1/4 cup flour.
  6. Pour the melted butter over the brown sugar mixture, and toss until it forms a crumb texture.
  7. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the batter in the baking dish.
  8. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until done in the center.
  9. Once cool, dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.

Serve up this cake as part of an afternoon tea party, just like the one Mr. Tumnus threw for Lucy.

 

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Baked Apples – The Chronicles of Narnia

baked apples narnia recipe

Who else just adores Reepicheep?!

Okay let’s just get this out of the way. The apples I used for this recipe turned out really ugly looking for pictures…haha! Someday I will choose cuter apples and update this post with better photographs, but I didn’t want to keep this recipe from you in the meantime because, ugly or not, these baked apples tasted (and smelled) amazing!

Baked apples appear in The Chronicles of Narnia a couple times. Once in Prince Caspian when the Pevensie children find themselves in Narnia with no supplies. They find an apple orchard, and so for a few days, all they have to eat are apples. To give some variety, they try roasting the apples on sticks. In the Silver Chair, the dwarfs serve an elaborate breakfast including baked apples, which probably tasted better than the ones the Pevensies roasted on sticks.

The official Narnia cookbook has a recipe for baked apples, but the apples in this recipe are stuffed with raisins, and I hate cooked raisins! So I searched online for a baked apple recipe without raisins and found this great recipe that uses oats. I know they have oats in Narnia, because several times we see the characters eating oat cakes and oat porridge. So this could still be a totally authentic Narnian recipe.

Baked Apples – The Chronicles of Narnia

Ingredients

  • 4 apples (the sweeter, the better!)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Cut out the core of the apples, leaving the bottom of the apple in tact. This works best with an apple corer or a melon baller, but I just used a regular spoon and it worked fine.
  2. Mix together the brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  3. Stuff the apples with the sugar/oat mixture
  4. Place the stuffed apples in a deep baking dish, and place 1/4 Tbsp. of butter on top of each one.
  5. Pour the water into the bottom of the dish. This should caramelize with the melted brown sugar to make a sauce.
  6. Cover the apples with foil and bake them for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  7. Remove the foil, and cook the apples for 30 minutes more.

These baked apples taste great on their own, but they’re also perfect for pairing with ice cream or whipped cream. They make the house smell like Thanksgiving!

 

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Tirian’s Captivity Provisions – The Chronicles of Narnia

The Last Battle Menu

“Here is cheese, Sire,” said the first Mouse, “but not very much, for fear it would make you too thirsty.” And after the cheese they fed him with oatcakes and fresh butter, and then with some more wine.”

-The Last Battle-

Though it is beautiful and wonderful, The Last Battle is definitely the most depressing book in the entire Narnia series. It deals with a lot of dark themes. So, when I decided to make a menu based on this book, I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t find anything inspiring in the book, food-wise. There are no fancy feasts or cozy teas. But I did find this one little instance quoted above.

King Tirian is taken captive by a false Aslan. While he is tied up, a group of loyal mice visit him and bring him a meal. They are too scared of the false Aslan to untie him and help him escape, but they feel that the least they can do is feed him. It’s really a very touching little scene that warms up my heart.

So here’s a simple but appetizing and heartwarming menu from The Last Battle.

Tirian’s Captive Provisions – The Chronicles of Narnia

Oatcakes

These are simple, yummy, and filling. I’m sure Tirian was grateful to the mice for bringing him something so delightful.

Cheese

Eat the cheese on its own, or pile it on top of the oatcakes for a little sandwich of sorts. Any cheese will do, just pick your favorite!

Butter

I think butter is my favorite food. Really. I love butter. So it’s no surprise that I enjoyed slathering butter on the oatcakes I made.

Grape Juice

Yeah, the mice bring Tirian wine, but I don’t drink alcohol, so I substituted grape juice. But you go ahead and drink whatever your taste buds fancy.

This menu would be perfect for tea time, a light lunch, breakfast, or snack. Basically, any time of the day you want something light but filling, bring up this menu and you’ve got what you need. Best part is there are no fancy, hard-to-find ingredients.

 

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Narnian Oatcake Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia

narnian oatcakes

Oatcakes show up a lot in The Chronicles of Narnia. They are often eaten as traveling food, which makes sense since this oatcake recipe makes cakes that are hearty but also sturdy. When I saw oatcakes mentioned in The Last Battle, I knew I wanted to recreate them.

I turned to The Official Narnia Cookbook. This book has loads of delicious recipes. Some of them are directly from the books, and others are simply inspired by certain scenes or characters.

The cookbook has two different oatcake recipes: one using a yeast dough, and one using a quick dough, almost like cookie dough. I went with the yeast-free kind this time because it sounded easier, quicker, and tastier. Win win win. I’ll save the yeast oatcake recipe for another time.

Narnian Oatcake Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia

Adapted from The Official Narnia Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp. milk

Directions

  1. Mix together the dry ingredients.
  2. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms a crumbly mixture.
  3. Add the milk and mix well.
  4. Grab 2 or 3 Tablespoons of the dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball onto a cookie sheet as flat as you can get it.
  5. Repeat with the remaining dough until you run out.
  6. Bake the cakes at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

These oatcakes are so good! Nutty and a little bit sweet, they’re perfect for any kind of meal. They can be eaten with honey and jam, or you can take it a more savory route and pair this oatcake recipe with butter and cheese. I also like to just eat them plain like cookies.

 

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Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia

In The Magician’s Nephew, Polly and Digory plant a piece of toffee into the magical Narnian ground, and the next morning they find a toffee tree has grown in its place.

“Just beside them was a little, very dark-wooded tree, about the size of an apple tree. The leaves were whitish and rather papery, like the herb called honesty, and it was loaded with little brown fruits that looked rather like dates…

Polly and Digory got to work on the toffee-tree. The fruit was delicious; not exactly like toffee — softer for one thing, and juicy — but like fruit which reminded one of toffee.”

-The Magician’s Nephew-

I figured it would be pretty impossible to recreate the fruit of the toffee tree in real life. It’s got to look like a date, taste like toffee, and be juicy. While I was puzzling over how to pay homage to the toffee fruit, I discovered this sticky toffee pudding recipe from Nigella. It was the perfect compromise. It has dates and toffee in it, so I like to think this is what toffee fruit would taste like if it were baked into a pudding. Plus, sticky toffee pudding is a traditional English dish, and many English dishes are also traditional Narnian dishes. Fancy that!

Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups dates, chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups boiling water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and butter a large pudding dish or souffle dish.
  2. Combine the 1/2 cup brown sugar with the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add the milk, egg, vanilla, and melted butter, and stir until incorporated.
  4. Fold the dates into the batter, and pour the batter into the pudding dish.
  5. Sprinkle the 1 cup of brown sugar evenly on top of the batter.
  6. Dot the top of the brown sugar with the 2 Tbsp. of butter.
  7. Pour the boiling water over the whole mixture.
  8. Bake the pudding for 45 minutes, or until set.

After this pudding cooks, it will have a springy, almost cake-like upper layer, with a bottom layer of sticky toffee sauce. The dates added to this sticky toffee pudding recipe gave it a nice texture, and the toffee sauce was absolutely divine. It tasted almost as magical as I’m sure fresh toffee fruit tastes. Yum!

 

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Soft Caramel Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia

In The Magician’s Nephew, Polly and Digory are on a quest in Narnia and are desperate for something to eat for dinner. The only thing they have available is a bag of toffees in Polly’s coat pocket. They eat all of them but one, and they plant the final toffee in the ground to grow a toffee tree. More on that later 🙂

“The little paper bag was very squashy and sticky…it was more a question of tearing the bag off the toffees than of getting the toffees out of the bag. Some grown-ups (you know how fussy they can be about that sort of thing) would rather have gone without supper altogether than eaten those toffees.”

-The Magician’s Nephew-

One of my favorite things about C.S. Lewis’ writing in The Chronicles of Narnia is how he talks about grown ups. It cracks me up and makes me realize that I am still a kid at heart. Toffee is delicious, even if it is “squashy and sticky.”

The way this toffee is described, it sounds more like caramel than toffee to me. Most toffee recipes produce a hard, crunchy candy. I love hard and crunchy toffee, but it is more difficult to make, as it requires a candy thermometer and can be easily burned. Plus, a soft caramel recipe would be more authentic in this situation, I think. So, that’s what I did.

I adapted this soft caramel recipe from Creme de la Crumb, and it did not disappoint!

soft caramel recipe

Soft Caramel Recipe – The Chronicles of Narnia

Ingredients

  • 10 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Combine the butter and the sugar in a saucepan, and stir it until the combination is melted and incorporated together.
  2. Add the corn syrup and the sweetened condensed milk. Whisk the ingredients together until the mixture boils.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low, and whisk the mixture constantly for about 10 minutes. The mixture should be bubbling softly the whole time. You’ll know when to take it off the heat when it turns a golden brown color and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  4. Add the vanilla and pour the mixture into a pan lined with parchment paper.
  5. Allow the caramels to cool completely.
  6. When the caramels set, cut them into squares and wrap them in pieces of wax paper.

This soft caramel recipe produces candies that are buttery and sweet and definitely squashy and sticky. Perfect for growing a toffee tree!

 

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The Magician’s Nephew Feast – Chronicles of Narnia

The Magician’s Nephew is the prequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It tells the story of how Narnia was created, and also how it was discovered by a young boy and girl, named Digory and Polly, from our world. It is a magical tale, and made even more lovely by the featured food.

Magician's Nephew Feast

Tuck in to this glorious Magician’s Nephew Feast

There aren’t many specific foods mentioned in this book, but the ones that are mentioned usually have a sort of magical quality to them. So, what this Magician’s Nephew feast lacks in quantity, it makes up for it in pure magic.

The Magician’s Nephew Feast Menu – The Chronicles of Narnia

Grapes

Digory’s mother is ill, and it is implied that she is dying. This is of course very distressing for Digory. When a neighbor brings over some fresh grapes for Digory’s mother, Digory hears his aunt remark that only fruit from the land of youth would do his mother any good.

Apples

Digory remembers this comment his aunt made about fruit from the land of youth when he is in the newly formed Narnia. He asks Aslan if there is any magical fruit in Narnia that could make his mother well. Aslan directs him to a tree with beautiful shining apples.

Toffee or Caramel

This was a bit difficult, because the book mentions toffee that Polly has brought to Narnia in her jacket pocket. Toffee, by modern definition, is hard and crunchy. However, the toffee in Polly’s jacket pocket is described as being “squashy and sticky,” which to me describes caramel rather than toffee. I decided to remain true to this description and make some “squashy and sticky” caramel wrapped in wax paper.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Now this bit of the story is my absolutely favorite because it is so very magical. Because Narnia is so new, the ground is still infused with Aslan’s magic, so that anything planted in it will grow. Digory and Polly see a bar from a lamp post grow into a lamp tree after it is flung into the dirt. (By the way, this is the very same lamp tree that Lucy encounters many years later in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.)

Later, when Digory and Polly are hungry, they decide to plant one of the toffee pieces they brought so that it will grow into a toffee tree. The toffee tree grows overnight, and the fruit it bears is described as looking like dates.

Rather than try to recreate this toffee fruit in and of itself, I decided to use those two elements (toffee and dates) to make a delicious sticky toffee pudding. What makes it even better is the fact that this is an English recipe, which meshes well since Narnia has many English influences.

This Magician’s Nephew feast is so delightfully indulgent. I just know you’ll love it. I feel like it perfectly harnesses the magic that is The Magician’s Nephew.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money!

Good food is meant to be shared!