Thursday, March 5, 2015

A New Lefse Generation

I have two sons in law now. They have heard stories about the Great Grandparents who came from Norway and settled here, working the land to create this beautiful farm.

So for Christmas I gave my daughters their very own lefse rolling pins and a copy of Julia Peterson Tufford's Norwegian Recipes. Our local hardware store happens to carry these! We made lefse a few days later, using leftover mashed potatoes.

Our mashed potatoes were just the standard made with butter, salt, pepper & a little cream.

A simple lefse recipe is a half cup flour for each cup of mashed potatoes.
I cut the flour in with a pastry tool.

We learned that cold mashed potatoes are lumpy and we had to work the dough far too long. Next time we will warm them up and make sure they are smooth! I might try using a little less flour as well.

We combined the flour & potatoes into a workable dough, and kneaded it until it felt ready to roll.

My Grandmother would roll all the dough into a large cylinder which she called an "emne": a rough translation would be "something that is made to be processed into something else".

She would cut a disk off the end of the emne and shape it with her hands,
then turn it onto a floured surface and roll it round and thin.

My sons in law learned quickly. They found out why we keep adequate flour on the board and let the weight of the pin do the work; pulling the dough out from the center. Both of them are engineers, so they needed little help from me in working out the most effective techniques!
Lifting off the board with a paddle
 Lefse dough is handled more delicately than flatbread, but the methods are much the same. See my flatbread post for a description of the tools we use.
Tapping off the excess flour
If you can cook outside you will have an easier time cleaning up all the flour that gets swept off the lefse grill.
Turning lefse on the grill
Try to turn the lefse when there are light brown speckles (lift it to check underneath from time to time). If it is burning (black specks) you are cooking too long or your grill is too hot.

Once the lefse is cooked, you need to place it between dampened cloths to soften. I stacked our lefse about 3-4 high before adding another cloth. Let them soften until they have no stiffness left at least 15 minutes or more.

 One side will have larger spots. That is normal.

Traditionally we eat our lefse rolled up with butter and cinnamon sugar, but we also love to experiment with savory fillings the same as you might use a wrap or tortilla.