Lefse is a potato flat bread. Also, it’s technically supposed to come in squares or rectangles, but circles taste just as good and are easier for me. So.
You’ll need, for 8 lefse rounds:
- 3 medium-large potatoes
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoon salt
- at least 2 cups flour
You will also need: a large pot a large frying pan or griddle of some sort (at least 9 inch bottom diameter) a mixer or a potato masher a bowl and plastic wrap or Tupperware a flat surface big enough to knead on a rolling pin a spatula First, peel your potatoes. The fresher they are, the easier this is to do and the less nasty they will be. If your potato has things growing out of it and you absolutely can't get a new one, cut them out and don't eat them for the love of god. Cut out all remaining black spots and cut them in half or until they're about evenly sized. This is so they all cook at the same speed. Now put them into a big pot and fill it with water to cover them. Put some salt in, around a teaspoon or so. Now cover the pot, and go do something else for a while.
When they're done, take them out and drain the water. We'll be using milk and butter for these potatoes, not the potato water. You can tell when they're done when the middle isn't hard and raw-potatoey anymore. Go ahead and cut one in half if you can't tell by looking.
Now, if you're lazy like me, you'll use a stand mixer to mash the potatoes, like so: If not, you can go at them with a potato masher or a fork, whatever. Get them nice and mashed, then measure out two cups of potato and set whatever you have left over aside. You can add garlic and eat it by itself or make lazy noodles or shepherd's pie or something. There is no such thing as too much mashed potatoes.
This is what two cups of mashed potatoes looks like. Add the tablespoon of milk, tablespoon of salt, and two tablespoons of butter to it and then mash them again until it's all blended. Then put it into some sort of container - I used that mixing bowl with plastic wrap over it (make sure the plastic wrap is down inside the bowl touching the potatoes if you do this) but a Tupperware would be fine too. Stick it in the fridge until it's cold. Usually about two hours works, although when I'm lazy I leave it in there for a day or so.
That should have taken about two hours. Now pull the potatoes out and make sure that they're cold. Not room temperature, but cold, and slightly stiff. Get your flour out and flour up your flat surface. This is to keep the lefse dough from sticking to the counter, which it will probably do anyway a few times. Put the chunk of mashed potatoes down into the middle of the floured area and spread about half a cup of flour over the top of it, like so:
Now knead it for about ten minutes, gradually incorporating another half cup of flour besides the amount of flour you'll have to add to replace the stuff it picks up from your counter. After it has a whole cup of flour in it, it will feel much doughier and nothing like mashed potatoes anymore. It will look like this:
Now you need to divide it into eight pieces and ball it up. I do it like this:
But whatever floats your boat, so long as you get eight equally sized little balls of dough out of it. Spread more flour out onto your surface - no, more. Lefse loves getting stuck when you roll it out, it's infuriating. The best way to avoid it is to flip the dough over every time you take a roll on the rolling pin, flick a little more flour under it, and then roll the other side. Always keep your rolling pin well floured, too. You want really thin pieces here, absolutely no thicker than your average flour tortilla, otherwise they won't cook all the way through and will taste a little doughy. They should work out to be about nine inches diameter.
Once you have all eight pieces rolled out, heat up your frying pan or griddle or whatever and grease it slightly if it isn't non-stick. Non-stick is great for this purpose, though. Flip one of the uncooked lefse into the pan and quickly unfold any creases that might have happened with the spatula. You only turn lefse once, and you do it when you see air bubbles forming under the lefse like I circled in blue here:
When you flip it, the finished side will look like this:
It won't need to cook for as long on the other side, but it will do the bubble trick again (harder to see this time, careful not to leave it on too long and burn it!) or you can just pick it up with the spatula and check underneath. When it's done, put it on a plate and repeat. When you've done all eight lefse, you will have the following Plate of Goodness:
You can now do just about anything with it. Use it as bread in sandwiches, wrap it around meatballs, eat it plain, or my favorite, dessert lefse:
Smeared with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
Now that you have learned how to make lefse, please be sure to view these other potato recipes. Also, you will love these Scandinavian recipes.
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