Tonight Daniel and I made lefse. If you’ve never heard of lefse, it’s a Norwegian flatbread made with potatoes and flour. In thickness and consistency, it tastes like a very soft tortilla, but potato-y. They’re delicious.
My grandma, (my dad’s mom) used to always make lefse (and pies, and fudge, and cookies, and the holiday meal once she got to our house…really, she was amazing) for the family for Christmas and Thanksgiving. I’m not even sure if we’re actually Norwegian — Grandma may have picked up the lefse-making tradition from someone else, but our family loves it and always requests lefse for the holidays. My grandma died about a month after I graduated from high school, and I am so glad that the previous Christmas, I had her show me (and Daniel) how to make lefse, so that we could carry on the tradition. It’s a great memory I will always have of her. I only wish I had gotten some of her other recipes. She made a mean date bar.
So, lefse. The way to start is with some really good homemade mashed potatoes, with lots of butter and salt. Then they need to cool completely in the fridge. Then you add flour until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky.
Roll out a small handful of dough on a floured surface. If you find you’re adding too much flour to keep the dough from sticking, you should add more flour to the big bowl of dough. Try to get the lefse as thin as possible without tearing it.
The lefse is baked on a hot, dry griddle at ~400 degrees. Big bubbles may puff up, which is ok. Turn the lefse once when the underside is golden brown with larger brown spots, and let it cook for a little longer. Traditionally, it’s eaten with butter and sugar, but in our family, we prefer savory lefse. It’s especially good filled with leftover turkey and stuffing the next day.
And remember — there is no need to look so skeptical.
It really is that good. Thanks, Grandma.