Apr 1, 2014

Potato Lefse | Tuesdays with Dorie

Potato Lefse from Karen's Kitchen Stories

Potato lefse is a Norwegian flat bread that is rolled out very thinly, and then baked on a very hot griddle.

Potato Lefse from Karen's Kitchen Stories

The flatbread begins with mashed potatoes that are then allowed to sit overnight in the refrigerator to dry. You then hand knead in some flour to turn the mashed potatoes into dough.

Potato Lefse from Karen's Kitchen Stories

Evidently, there are specialized tools to make lefse, including a round upon which the lefse is rolled, a specialized rolling pin with grooves, a lefse griddle, and a lefse stick. Alrighty then!

As much as I am willing to introduce new kitchen toys into my house, this might be a little too specialized, even for me.

Potato Lefse from Karen's Kitchen Stories

For the griddle, I used a cast iron pizza stone.
For the fabric covered round, I wrapped a cutting board with a baguette couche (everyone has one, right?) and floured it heavily (any cloth will do).
For the rolling pin, I used a French rolling pin that I kept floured.
Instead of the lefse stick I used the rolling pin to transport the dough to the griddle as one would transport a pie crust.
I used a wooden spatula to flip and move the lefse while it baked.
I also made smaller lefses. The original recipe calls for 12. I made 24. So much easier for this beginner to handle.

Potato Lefse from Karen's Kitchen Stories

This recipe for potato lefse is from Beatrice Ojakangas and is from the amazing book Baking with Julia edited by Dorie Greenspan. If you'd like to see Beatrice make her lefse, check out this video.

My Irish born husband loved these lefse slathered in butter. This was my favorite way to eat them as well... sort of like baked potato pancakes. They are traditionally served buttered and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

According to Dorie, they can also be wrapped around hot dogs in lieu of a bun, and called "lumpa."

Potato Lefse

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 C heavy cream
2 T sugar
1 t. salt
1 1/2 C to 2 1/2 C all purpose flour, plus more for flouring the surface and rolling pin

Instructions

  1. Cook the potatoes in enough water to cover, about 10 minutes. The potatoes should be fork tender, but not over cooked. 
  2. Drain the potatoes and spread them out onto a baking dish to dry.
  3. Rice or grate the potatoes into a large bowl. 
  4. Add the butter and stir until it is fully melted. 
  5. Add the cream, sugar, and salt, and stir. 
  6. Refrigerate uncovered overnight. 
  7. When you are ready to make the lefses, prepare a work surface with a floured cloth (see above).
  8. Place a terrycloth towel onto the counter. 
  9. Add a cup of flour to the potatoes and mix with your hand. Continue to add flour to the potatoes, one heaping tablespoon at a time, until you have an actual dough, and not just stiff mashed potatoes. For me, it took an extra cup of flour. 
  10. Divide the dough into 24 balls. 
  11. Heat an ungreased griddle to 450 to 500 degrees F. 
  12. Roll a dough ball out to a very thin pancake, and place it onto the griddle. Cook for one to two minutes, and then flip it over to cook the other side.
  13. Place the lefse onto the terrycloth towel and cover with part of the towel, like an accordion (see the video). 
  14. Serve warm, slathered in butter (my preference) or butter and cinnamon sugar. 

32 comments:

  1. I need this in my life. My grandma still sends me lefse each Thanksgiving and Christmas because I no longer live in Minnesota :) I never have made them because I thought the only way to make it was with the specific tools - but I'm very excited to hear you don't necessarily need them!

    I always ate it with butter and just plain white sugar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah =) Now you can try making them!

      Delete
  2. I should have made a full batch. These were fantastic! Your pictures are gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were much better than I expected too Monica. Thanks so much!

      Delete
  3. Beautifully done :-) These were new to me, but I think I like them.
    I was very glad to be able to make these without any special tools - a Silpat mat, a long rolling pin, a cast iron skillet and a big fat spatula were all that was needed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I like them too. Especially slathered in butter. I'm not so sure about the hot dog idea =)

      Delete
  4. Half Norwegian here, and I have none of the specialized tools! :)

    Yummy lefse! Your pictures make me want to make a big floury mess in my kitchen all over again to make more. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Dawn. It was a big floury mess for sure!!!

      Delete
  5. Great looking lefses. I don't have any of the tools either and did fine without them. This was an interesting recipe to try. Glad they were so good! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. At first I asked, "is this worth it?" They actually are great the next couple of days too thank goodness.

      Delete
  6. They look amazing!
    Who needs the specialized equipment when this result can be achieved with regular utensils and a bit of expertise for certain :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had a feeling you would be back! These are somewhat bread-like - a stretch, I know. ;)
    Your lefse looks amazing. I would have preferred smaller ones - good thinking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still have the cheesecake ingredients in my fridge =) The smaller size was so much easier.

      Delete
  8. Wow! I wasn't organised enough this week, but would love to make these in a make up week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These were surprisingly good. I had to get back into TWD, and as much as I doubted this recipe, we've been thrilled.

      Delete
  9. they look terrific! I didn't have the tools either, but was glad to see they could be made with what I had in the kitchen already.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great looking lefse! Now I going to google what is a baguette couche :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Would have loved to see the video, but there was no link for it. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! If you click on "this video" you should be taken to it. I just tried it and it worked. If it doesn't, then google Beatrice's name+Martha Stewart+lefse

      Delete
  12. I tried these last year but yours came out better

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol Chef Mirelle. Give them another try!

      Delete
  13. Even though I grew up in a Mennonite family on my maternal grandparent's side, I didn't experience lefse until college in the home of a sorority sister. We went with her mother to a German deli in the U District (University of Washington) and she bought several types of cured meats , mustard, and potato lefse. Back at their home, she rolled the meats up in lefse, poured us each a dark beer and said "Eat." It was love at first bite. I have always meant to learn how to make lefse but somehow never got around to it. Now you've pushed me over the edge. I might even buy all the special equipment. Yeah, I'm an equipment junkie too. Great post, thank you! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please let me know what you end up doing!! Especially if you get the extra equipment!

      Delete
  14. I love this recipe! 1. It's made with mashed potatoes. 2. Great subs for the specialized tools! I made lefse with my friends earlier this year for the first time. It was so much fun, but I never thought I would make these at home, since I don't have all the tools, and only recipe I found asks for potato flakes. Now, I'm going to try this recipe out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Let me know how it turns out!

      Delete
  15. Wow very impressive. I would love to make some in the near future. I bet they taste way way better than store bought!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very interesting. For years I've been trying without success to find info on a recipe my Grandma made when I was a little kid, back in the 50's-60's. It looks and sounds very much like this lefse. Only issue is that Grandma came from Czechoslovakia! Does anyone, given suspected similarity to lefse, have any insight into what Grandma made for us, I do believe she used leftover potatoes, and we did butter them but definitely no cinnamon.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and questions and read every one of them.