Christmas is here, I have done most of the shopping; now I need to kick start my Christmas baking. I have a starter problem; always I plan for something, but end up doing nothing or doing something else. I have only a few cookies and cakes in my list to bake, but lot of breads in my list. You know I am bread enthusiastic, and I search for some recipes and come to know about other recipes in the mean time. I fall in love easily with all kinds of breads. Smell of warm bread is so intoxicating that it is like booze to me. I can find whole new bread recipes every day. So my bread baking quest will goes on.
I stayed in Sweden, and visited Denmark and Finland, but have not visited Norway. I was planning to make a trip to Norway, but couldn’t during my stay in Sweden. My friends told me Norway is expensive, even Norwegians who live in the towns bordering Sweden comes to Sweden to do their shopping. Norway is called the land of Midnight Sun. In late May to July you can feel 20 hours of sunlight. I felt similar in Sweden during the summer months, where sun doesn’t want to leave you until 10 o’clock in the night. You have to go to bed with two curtains. But in November months it is like that sun doesn’t want to visit us, dark, dull days. Due to gloominess in the nature, our mood will be gloomy. But when it starts snowing, it brightens everything, and bring that magical wonderland feeling.
One afternoon during my usual grazing of pinterest, I came to know about this flatbread, Lefse. It is potato flat bread, similar to our India aloo paratha, however, for lefse they are using All-purpose flour /Maida, but not the wheat flour. Just like most dishes, lefse varies from place to place in Norway, thinner and thick version is available, thinner one they like to eat it will butter, cinnamon and sugar and rolled up like a cigar, where as the thicker versions they serve with coffee as cake. If you want read more about lefse take a look at here. In Fargo, North Dakota there is Lefse festival in August, where as in Fosston, Minnesota Lefse fest is in November as these regions have huge populations of Scandinavian-Americans.
India has chapathi/roti as its flatbread, where as Norway has lefse. In the famous book ‘ The Last Word on Lefse’ by Gary Legwold (1992) he describes a time in Norway when women will be traveling to house to house and spending few days to make a year supply of lefse for the house hold. From morning to evening in open fire, they make a lot so even fishermen can carry them during the voyages. If you are Indian you will go for chapathi, Mexican you will be going for Tortilla, then if you are Norwegian you going for lefse.
Even though they looks like chapathi /roti, techniques of making Lefse is different, they even have special rollers (Square cut rolling pins) and cloth to make Lefse and transfer to stove using a stick. I followed the technique whatever I acquired during my reading various recipes. The earlier versions of Lefse did not have potato, but only flour, and much later came the use of potato to make Lefse, you want read history read from here.
If you want to make Lefse you need to plan ahead, usually a challenge for me, but I succeeded.
The first step is to boil potatoes, and remove the skin and mash it. Then add whipping cream, butter and salt and mix everything and set aside for overnight in the refrigerator.
The next morning, mix in flour and make smooth dough. Then divide the dough into small balls, and spread the dough into thin round, and cook it in skillet.
It only takes one minute to cook each side or until you see brown spots on both sides.
When I finished making the first one, my princess grabbed that from the plate and did a taste test, she nodded the head and told me it is delicious. Then hubby did the taste test and told me it was delicious. The marriage between potato, cream, butter and flour makes it awesome. Try it if you like chapathi, tortilla, or pita, then Lefse is going to steal your heart. It did with us.
Traditionally it is served with loads of butter and sugar; we like to eat with our spicy curry.
Lefse/Norwegian Potato Flatbread
Adapted from the kitchn and here
Pep Time 35 minutes + overnight refrigeration time
Cook Time 12 minutes
1 ⅓ cup Boiled mashed potato ( about 2-3 medium potatoes)
1 tablespoon Butter
3 tablespoon Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 1/2 cup All purpose flour + extra flour for making the lefse
- Boil potatoes in a pressure cooker for about 25 minutes, once it is cooled down remove the skin
and mash them using a potato ricer or hand and set aside.
- While warm add butter and cream and mix everything and set aside for about overnight in refrigerator.
- When you are ready to make the lefse, mix flour with potato-cream-butter-mixture and knead well to form a smooth dough
- Divide the dough into 12 equal rounds.
- Coat each dough rounds into flour and spread them into thin round of about 5 inch diameter.
- Heat skillet and transfer the spread dough into skillet carefully. Cook the one side until you see bubbles on the top,
- Flip the other side and cook for another minute. When lefse is done, you will see brown spots all over .
- Continue to make the lefse until you finish the entire dough. You will able to make 12 lefse from this recipe.
- Cover the lefse with a cloth while you are making the rest of it to prevent drying of the lefse.
- Once it is finished, roll spread each of them with butter, cinnamon and sugar and roll them into
a long tube.
- I served with spicy curry.
You can serve lefse with jam of your choice.