5 Ingredients or Fewer

Norwegian Lefse

October 16, 2014
3 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

A Minnesotan family tradition —Adia Benson

What You'll Need
  • Step One: Potato Base
  • 6 Russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Step Two: Lefse Dough
  • 2 to 3 cups Flour
  1. Wash and peel your potatoes. Cut the potatoes into 2” by 2” pieces, as uniform as possible so that they cook evenly. Place potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Let the potatoes continue to boil and cook for about 10 minutes until they are very soft and can be pricked with a fork. Remove from heat, drain the potatoes and place in large bowl.
  3. While hot, mash the potatoes as much as possible, removing any chunks. Add the butter in small pieces, cream, and salt. Continue to mix together with rubber spatula until the butter and cream is completely absorbed.
  4. Transfer the potatoes to storage container and refrigerate. Mashed potatoes should be chilled overnight and can be kept for three days. When ready to make the Lefse remove the potatoes from the fridge and add 2 cups of flower.
  5. With your hands create small balls, approximately the side of a golf ball. Place on the counter underneath a damp towel. When your balls have been formed generously flower your workspace and begin rolling out your balls into small circles.
  6. Heat a non-stick pan or cast-iron. Add a small amount of butter, barely any, and place the Lefse on the pan. After about 2 minutes, when golden-brown, flip. Allow Lefse to cook on both sides, remove and reserve on a tray.
  7. When all of the Lefse is ready, place your filling on the circular bread, roll up or enjoy like a flatbread.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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After receiving her degree in Culinary Arts from Auguste Escoffier in Avignon, France, Adia spent the next several years working with food and branding for Daniel Boulud's The Dinex Group and Thomas Keller’s Restaurant Group. In 2011 she joined Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia where she worked with the editorial team focusing on storyline development for food related content. Adia currently works as a Culinary Designer at gravitytank, an innovation consultancy in Chicago. With a bachelors degree in Organizational Behavior and Communication from New York University, Adia combines her passion for culinary art and food products with her understanding of human behavior and brand development. She serves on the board of directors for Blue Sky Bakery, a non-profit providing employment opportunities to at-risk youth in the Chicagoland area.

11 Reviews

Maren L. December 27, 2017
This sounds more like potetkake also know as lompe to me only a little thick.
I’m from Norway, and for me lefse is supposed to be much thinner.
Liz F. May 22, 2016
This is not lefse! Maybe they taste good, but to be lefse you need to roll them super thin. Paper thin. 1/4 inch is waaaayyyyy to thick. This is not lefse.
Hina K. October 21, 2014
These sound wonderful! Can this recipe be scaled down or the breads made in advance and frozen?
Kim C. October 21, 2014
My grandma would have a heart attack if she saw these referred to as lefse. Lefse making is an art, and getting the rolling and cooking done "correctly" takes practice. Bragging rights at her ladies' auxiliary go to the person who can roll it the thinnest. You really want to aim for paper-thin here, thinner than a tortilla... almost thinner than a crepe.
Robin R. October 21, 2014
I agree with Kim. Our family has been circulating this recipe and we are all dumbfounded that this would be called lefse. We roll how Kim rolls!
Sarah A. October 21, 2014
Ja, the lefse I know is almost as thin as paper, and usually spread with a bit of butter, sprinkled with sugar and then rolled up. If you go to Decorah, IA, the home of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, Luther College and host of Nordic Fest, you will find completely unleavened, very thin Lefse. While the pancake-like Lefse shown here might be found in parts of Norway, I think that a majority of the country and its descendants would expect the crepe-thin pancakes.
krista November 3, 2018
My family in Wisconsin has been making lefse for a 100 years and it is always paper thin and rolled out with a special grooved rolling pin. These look yummy, but are not lefse.
Jordan October 20, 2014
Thanks so much for this! Reminds me of how my grandmother used to make this every Christmas Eve. Just got back from visiting Norway this summer and had to try one of my favorite childhood dishes. Looking forward to making these.
Anne S. October 20, 2014
Do you mix the flour in while the mashed potatoes are still cold (ie, right out of the refrigerator), or do you let them warm up a bit?
Adia B. October 20, 2014
Hi Coco, thank you! You can roll these out to about a quarter inch thick. Certainly they can get as thin as a tortilla and that way you can spread some butter and cinnamon sugar on top and roll it up. Play around with the thickness, depending on what your topping is. It is a very versatile dough, so enjoy!
Coco M. October 20, 2014
What's the approximate thickness and diameter of each lefse once it's rolled out? These sound delicious!