I was raised Norwegian and lefse has always been my favorite Norwegian food, especially all warm, right from the griddle, with the butter all melty, and cinnamon and sugar…..mmmmmm! There’s quite a process before you get to that part, though. Lately, I’ve been using a lefse mix, making the process a lot easier and quicker. There are lots of recipes for lefse from scratch, usually handed down from Norwegian grandmothers to moms to daughters. In our family the recipe is this (unless you have the mix!):
3 cups hot unseasoned mashed potatoes
1 TBSP melted butter
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 to 1 1/4 cups flour
Cook and mash or rice the potatoes, mix in butter and sugar and refrigerate overnight. The next day, mix in the flour to make a still dough. Pinch off chunks of dough and form into balls that are about golf-ball sized, store under a towel to keep moist.
Roll each ball on a lightly floured surface using a lefse rolling pin. Notice how the rolling pin has little ridges–this allows you to roll your lefse super-thin, with a waffley texture like it should be!
Transfer lefse with a lefse stick by inserting the stick, rounded side up under the lefse and moving it carefully from side to side, then to the lefse griddle; set the lefse on the griddle and roll it off the stick. (See picture of a lefse stick in the pictures above.) Cook until brown spots appear, flip with the lefse stick and cook on the other side. You can do this with any griddle, but these lefse griddles make it soooo much easier! (Here’s an “edgy” video of rolling, transferring and cooking lefse–you never knew how cool making lefse could be!)
Remove from the griddle with the lefse stick and store in a kitchen towel to keep it warm. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
When all dough balls are finished, you can fold them into quarters and store in a ziploc bag in your fridge, to be eaten like you would any bread with dinner or like torillas with filling; OR you can do them like my family! While they’re still warm, take one lefse at a time out from the towel and spread butter on it.
Sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar and roll it up.
You can then eat the rolled lefse immediately (what I like to do!), or cut them in half (or not) and refrigerate in a ziploc after they’ve cooled to room temperature.
I always make a huge mess when making lefse–getting flour everywhere! Having a huge kitchen island has helped contain the mess, but I still end up with flour all over my apron (highly recommended lefse-wear) and all over the floor where I’m rolling it out.
If you can enlist a lefse-helper, the whole process goes lots faster. DH and I can whip out 24 sheets of lefse in just over an hour after the dough balls are formed, with me rolling and him cooking. He’s not Norwegian, but has learned the technique of cooking the lefse and enjoys eating it as much as if he were Norwegian! You will too, should you give this recipe a try. I’m not sure how long lefse will keep–it never lasts long around here. It’s too yummy to leave it alone!