Saturday, December 17, 2011

Making Lefse

A friend, Nikki, invited Velvet and me over to spend the afternoon making lefse. Lefse is a traditional soft Norwegian flat bread made with flour, potato, and cream. Nikki cooked the potatoes the night before and then riced them using a potato ricer. This is the potato ricer. Nikki says to get one that looks just like this and be sure that it is strong.


We thought beer would add to the festive nature of the day. We tried a Fat Tire amber. It was nice.


After you rice the potatoes, you add the rest of the ingredients into a bit pot and then get your hands in there and mix it all up good. That's me mixing in the big pot.


After mixing, roll the dough into walnut sized balls. Some people make them bigger, but Nikki likes the finished lefsa small enough to fit into zip-lock bags for storage.


We used a big, round rolling surface with a cloth over the top. You can buy these around here at a hardware store.


Here's the station set up for the rolling.


Nikki's version of the recipe uses less flour in the dough but when you start rolling, you put a lot of flour on the board and on the rolling pin. She has this really cool rolling pin that catches flour in the grooves.


Once rolled, you scoop up the very thin lefse with a stick made for that purpose. This is Velvet with raw lefse ready for the griddle, Nikki is behind her taking a lefse off the heat.


This is the griddle pan used to cook the lefse (set to between 425 and 450 degrees - pretty hot!).


After about four hours we took a break to munch on some fresh lefse. We put butter and sugar on some and ate others with a savory spread. So good! (Velvet is on left, Nikki on the right.)


Lefse Recipe

10 lb potatoes peeled and boiled then cooled and pushed through a potato ricer (use dry, baking potatoes like Russet or Idaho, not the waxy ones)
3/4 lb. butter
2 cups heavy cream
6 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp salt
7 cups flour

Mix the butter into the hot potatoes and rice them. Add everything else to the pot and mix together thoroughly. Roll into balls the size of walnuts. Sip a little beer. Preheat a griddle to 425-450 degrees F. Put a whole bunch of flour on the rolling surface. Coat your rolling pin with flour. Roll out each ball as thin as you can. Pick up the dough with the stick and get it to the griddle (the griddle is dry, not greased). Cook only for 30 seconds or so each side. If you cook too long you'll have crisp lefse.

As you take them off the griddle place them between waxed paper with dry towels on top of the waxed paper. You can stack about 15 lefse rounds between the waxed paper before putting out new waxed paper for your next batch. Do this for a good four hours or so and then take a break and eat some!

Wait until these are completely cooled before putting into zip locks to freeze or they will stick to each other.

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A friend of mine from India discovered lefse in the grocery case and was overjoyed to use them in place of parathas. I've done that, too, and it works great! Here is my post for making a curry and using lefse in place of parathas.

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