Around the holidays, traditions really shine through.
A common Norwegian tradition is making Lefse.
During the 19th century, Lefse was a popular way to store wheat or potato during the harsh winter months in Norway.
It’s a paper-thin flatbread, made from potatoes, cooked on a griddle, flipped with a long, narrow wooden stick, and eaten slathered with butter, sugar, and sometimes cinnamon.
- 5 lb bag of russet potatoes
- 1 stick f full-fat butter
- 1 C heavy cream
- 2 TSP sugar
- 2 TSP salt
- 2 C flour + more for rolling out the dough
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into even cubes. Make sure to cut out any rough or brown parts. Boil them until soft, about 30 minutes.
- Strain the potatoes and let them sit in the strainer for a while to get as much moisture out of them as possible.
- Add butter to the potatoes and mix until butter is completely melted and combined.
- Rice the potatoes on a baking sheet of some kind. Let the priced potatoes sit on the counter for one hour and then set them in the fridge overnight. This dries the potatoes out which is crucial when making the dough.
- The next day, take out the potatoes, and in a large bowl, mix the potato and butter mixture, cream, sugar, and sifted flour all together with an electric mixer. You should end up with a dough that is somewhat similar to a bread flour consistency, but a bit more crumbly.
- Then start rolling the dough into balls that are slightly bigger than golf balls.
- Preheat the Lefse grill to 450 degrees.
- Add 1/3 cup flour to coat the rolling mat cloth and the rolling pin cloth. Massage the flour in and be liberal with it.
- Keep the Lefse balls in the fridge and get a couple out at a time. Gently form it into a disk with your hands and place it on the mat. Start rolling it out. Roll it out as evenly as possible and the dough should be rolled out extremely thin. So much so that you should be able to see through it.
- Once the Lefse is as flat as possible, use the turning stick and gently side it underneath the center of the rolled-out disk. you should be able to get all the way under without tearing the dough.
- Lift the rolled-out dough (that has the stick mid-way through) and drape it onto the edge of the preheated Lefse grill. you should be able to gently lay the first half of the disk onto the grill and then by turning (or rolling) the Lefse stick, fold the other half onto the grill.
- Start a timer for about 45 seconds then flip the Lefse, letting it cook on that side for about 30 seconds. This part is trial and error. I like to eye it more than worry about the timer. Once I saw the Lefse start to brown and bubble slightly, that’s when we turned it. Then once we saw the giant bubbles start to develop on the other side, we removed the Lefse and laid it on the drying rack.
- Serve this with butter and sugar and roll it up tightly.
- If you want to store the Lefse, once three pieces of Lefse are completely cooled, stack them on top of each other and fold twice, making a triangle. Store them in a ziplock baggie. Keep them in the fridge or put them in the freezer. They can last up to a year in the freezer.