My heritage is Norwegian and I’ve been wanting to show you how to make Lefse for years. This is a beloved treat, snack or whatever you want to call it from Norway. My great-grandmother used to make this for me as well as my mother.
I confess, I can’t ever match their Norwegian Lefse, but it’s very close, if I do say so myself. There is something spectacular when you have your hands in dough, I don’t care what kind. You know when you knead the dough you will have made a meal for you and your family.
It’s a skill we all need and that’s why I had a video made just for you. This has been my dream since I started my blog 7 years ago. If you are like me, you need pictures and sometimes a video to learn a new skill. I’m a visual learner and this is a GREAT cooking skill to learn.
All About Norwegian Lefse
You may be looking at this Lefse and wondering where it came from. Since I grew up on it, I’m very familiar with it. However, Lefse isn’t something you always run into.
In basic terms, Norwegian Lefse is a traditional flatbread that is also very soft. This potato mixture is amazing in so many ways. You could also make Lefse griddles, if you really want to get crazy.
Where Did Norwegian Lefse Originate?
Norway. I always enjoy learning more about other cultures, which is why I have enjoyed making Lefse. It’s important to note that there are several versions of Lefse. Depending on the region, you may find yourself creating different variations.
Western Norway creates a Lefse called a Nordlandslefse. This is a chunky small Lefse that many people enjoy. You can read more about the different kinds of Lefses here.
What Are the Best Potatoes To Use?
Russets, hands down. I’m lucky to live in Utah because I can buy those nice firm russets from Idaho. They boil up really nice and stay firm. DO NOT OVERCOOK the potatoes.
Boil the potatoes until they are fork-tender. If the potatoes fall apart you need to boil another batch or the dough will have problems.
Why Is My Dough Sticky?
More than likely it’s from the potatoes being overcooked. I know you may be tempted to use them anyway. Please don’t, the Lefse dough will be a sticky mess.
Just add butter and serve them for dinner. Boil another batch of potatoes, you’ll be glad you did, I promise.
What Is Lefse?
It’s actually a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread. Does it look like bread? No, it doesn’t. In my family, it’s made with leftover mashed potatoes, shortening, sugar, salt, and flour.
It’s so easy to make and makes a great treat or sandwich. Just fill them with your favorite filling. We serve ours at room temperature.
How To Make Lefse From Scratch
Place the mashed potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Make sure your potatoes don’t have brown spots.
Mix in the shortening, salt, sugar, and cups of flour with the potatoes in a large bowl, until thoroughly mixed.
Knead until you have a good dough like below. Based on the feel, you will know when your dough is good enough.
Cut the dough with a dough scraper into walnut or small golf ball size pieces. Roll into balls and then roll flat about 1/8-inch thick with a rolling pin.
Heat a griddle type frying pan to about 400 degrees and cook each side until they bubble and are light brown. Do not scorch, watch constantly.
After cooking each one, place each one between a damp hand towel, so they don’t dry out.
They should be soft and pliable as below. Transfer your Lefse onto a plate.
Spread with butter and sprinkle with white sugar or brown sugar, then enjoy. I love mine with butter and sugar.
When cool, place flat Lefse in ziplock bags with the towels. To store them place the bags in the refrigerator (5 days) or the freezer (six months).
What Goes With Lefse
- Butter and honey
- Butter and white sugar
- Butter and brown sugar (my favorite)
- Cream cheese, leftover chicken, and sliced tomatoes
- Wrap for EGG SALAD
- Wrap for ham salad and pickles
- Spread with hot mustard and wrap around a Bratwurst or hot dog
- Add scrambled eggs with bacon bits and roll up the Lefse
What Do I Need To Roll Out The Lefse?
There are special Lefse Rolling Pins, but a regular rolling pin is what I use. Yes, just the one you have in your home right now. I use a floured countertop, that’s it.
What Kind Of Griddle Do I Need?
I have used a frying pan or a Cast Iron Pan. They both work great. It’s also great to have both on hand, then you can use what you want.
What Is A Lefse Stick?
You may have seen these online. They are a thin crafted piece of wood about 7/8″ by 24″ in length called a Scandinavian turning stick. Some people use them to slide the thin wooden stick under the Lefse to turn it over or to slide the Lefse onto the grill.
Why Is My Lefse Crispy?
One thing you may want to watch is to roll out the dough evenly at least 1/8-inch thick. If the edges are thinner they will be crispy and slightly burned. The Lefse may even crumble if they are overcooked. No worries, roll them out a bit thicker next time and turn them before they overcook.
Why Is My Lefse Rubbery?
It’s probably from the dough being overworked. By this I mean you may have over-kneaded it.
You can break down the gluten and the Lefse becomes tough.
Do I Need To Use A Potato Ricer?
No, you do not have to use one. Although, I do because it does get rid of the potato lumps and makes the potatoes super fluffy. If your mixer does that, you are good to go. Lumps will make holes in your Lefse, and that’s not fun.
Can I Store My Lefse On The Counter?
Please keep in mind that our Lefse does not have preservatives so it must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer in air-tight bags with towels between each Lefse piece.
My Potato Lefse Recipe
- 4 cups mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
Mix the mashed potatoes, shortening, sugar, salt, and flour. Knead until you have a good dough. Cut into sections, roll out thin and cook on a greased (if needed) griddle until light brown, turning frequently to avoid scorching. After cooking each one, place them between a hand towel, to keep them from drying out. When cool, place in ziplock bags with the towels. To store them place the bags in the refrigerator (5 days) or freezer (six months). Serve with butter and sugar. Brown sugar is my favorite!
I really hope you try making my Norwegian Lefse recipe. It’s one of my all-time favorite snacks, desserts, or breakfast items. Here’s the deal, I feel very strongly that we must learn how to make bread, biscuits, crackers, tortillas, Lefse, and pasta. We can all see how this country is going and it’s not good.
Please be prepared for the unexpected, bad times are coming, we all know it. May God bless this world, Linda