Friday, November 14, 2014

How To Make Lefse (Norwegian Flatbread)

My Norwegian prince charming took me to Epcot for my 30th birthday (if you've never been, you need to go).
The second we walked into the Norwegian bakery, Matt's eyes lit up when he saw lefse (I had never heard of lefse before Epcot).  Matt's grandmother used to make large batches of lefse when he was young.  His Grandma Evy used to feed him lefsa when he was only 9 months old!  This is Matt enjoying the Epcot Lefse.  He was going down memory lane.  I had to get photos of him savoring the lefse.   

I thought lefse was just a tortilla, but I was very wrong.  Now I've learned how to make it, I will share with you the art of making lefse with you.  
I would highly recommend using a pastry cloth and a rolling pin cover.  You will be able to roll it out thinner and it won't stick as easy.   
The make lefse, you will need:
3 cups, riced potatoes
3/4 cup, white flour 
1 Tbs. vegetable shortening
Peel and cube the potatoes.
 Place them in a pot with water.  Heat the water and potatoes together.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat.
Keep the potatoes on medium heat until they are fork tender (about 25 min.)
Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and let them cool down.
Mash the potatoes through a wire strainer to make riced potatoes.  They have a tool called a "Potato Ricer," but this is what I had in my kitchen. Sorry for the terrible photo.  My hands were a mess and it was bad lighting.  You get the idea.  The potatoes become fluffy and smooth.  Makes the best mashed potatoes ever! :)
Measure out 3 cups of the smooth and creamy potatoes and put in a big mixing bowl.  
pour in the melted vegetable shortening.
Sift in the flour
 and salt.
Mix everything together and form a big ball.  
From that big ball roll out 30, 1-1/2 inch balls. 
 Lay out the pastry cloth and put the cloth cover on your rolling pin.  You will want to make sure the pastry cloth and rolling pin cloth is covered in a nice layer of flour.  Once the dough sticks to your pastry cloth, you will need to get out a new one.  Just make sure you have plenty of flour to prevent that from happening. 
Put a greased flat pan on medium-low heat.
Roll out the 1-1/2" lefse so it's paper thin.  This photo is a little dark, but you get the gist.
Use a lefse stick to pick the lefse off the pastry cloth.
Carefully lay it down on the heated pan.
The lefse is ready to turn when it is no longer transparent. 
Take off the stove and repeat until you've made the whole batch.   
You will need to clean the flour off the pan a couple of times or else you will have burnt flour flavored lefse.  :)  You don't want that.  
It is not a quick process to make lefse, but it is so rewarding once you get that paper thin delicious flatbread.  
    You can roll it up with cinnamon and sugar butter, or homemade jam.  
Use your imagination.  You'll feel like you've gone back in time while making this Norwegian flatbread.  Have fun!