Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Lefse For The Holidays
One of the benefits to being married to a Norwegian is the lefse.... I was introduced this yummy treat 23 years ago when my boyfriend (now my husband) invited me to share Thanksgiving dinner with his family - before they became my family too.... Dusty's great Aunt Doris would make a batch for the family to share. As the years went by she would make a special "secret" batch for me.... after all I was her favorite niece...
Now that Aunt Doris is no longer with us - I can't help but remember her during the holidays - not only her kindness and beauty but her wonderful lefse made just for me. Every year Aunt Doris would invite me to her home to learn how to make lefse and I always thought there would be time..... but there wasn't and her absence will be forever missed.... My advise to you - don't wait until tomorrow what you can do today..
Lefse is a lot of work but worth the time... Enjoy
Lefse Recipe - great with butter and sugar..
- 4 heaping cups of mashed or riced potatoes
- 1 stick of butter (or margarine)
- 1/3 cup of milk
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 cups of flour
- extra flour for rolling out the dough.
Measure out the mashed/riced potatoes into a large mixing bowl. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter/margarine in the milk; stir in the sugar and salt. Then pour over the cold mashed (riced) potatoes and mix.
Stir two cups of flour into the potato mixture. The dough will be sticky and soft.
Start heating the griddle or electric frying pan. Do not add any oil, margarine or shortening. Lefse is baked on a dry surface.
Take a lump of dough about the size of an egg. Place a heaping teaspoon of flour on the surface where you're going to roll out your lefse. Work about half of the heaping teaspoon of flour into the lump of dough (enough so you can handle the dough, but not so much that the dough becomes dry).
Starting in the center, roll outward until the lefse is about the size of a dinner plate. Try not to roll the lefse so thin that you cannot pick it up. If the lefse tears when you start to pick it up, gather it into a lump and roll it out again. Don't do this too many times, though, or your lefse will end up tough and dry. Ideally, you should only roll the lefse once, although that's probably not a realistic expectation if you've never made lefse before. Also try to turn the lefse only once while you are rolling it out. If the lefse starts to stick, add a little more flour.
When you have the lefse rolled out, transfer it to the hot griddle. Carefully pick it up and quickly move it. If you move slowly, the lefse is more likely to tear. Expert lefse makers use flat lefse turners (they look like long flat sticks) to transfer the dough by rolling it onto the turner and then unrolling it onto the griddle. You can also try rolling your lefse onto the rolling pin and transferring it to the griddle or the fry pan.
Once you have the lefse on the griddle, bake it for about a minute, just until brown 'freckles' start to appear; then turn the lefse over and let the other side bake just until brown freckles start to appear. While the first piece of lefse is baking, roll out your second one.
After the first piece of lefse is done, use the pancake turner to remove it from the griddle and place it on a clean dishtowel. Cover with another dishtowel.
Bake the second lefse and roll out the third piece.
When the second lefse is finished, place it on top of the first one and cover with the towel again.
Then bake the third piece.
Repeat until you have baked all of the dough. Place each newly baked lefse on top of the previously baked lefse and cover the stack with the towel.
Once the lefse is completely cool, place it in a plastic bag or wrap it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to help keep it moist. You must wait until the lefse is completely cool before wrapping it, otherwise the heat from the lefse will condense inside of the plastic or the aluminum foil, and your lefse will end up soggy. If you leave the lefse overnight without wrapping it in plastic or aluminum foil, it will probably be dried out in the morning. If the lefse dries out, sprinkle a little water on the dishtowel and wrap the dishtowel and the lefse in plastic. The lefse will soften up again.
When you're ready to eat a piece of lefse, spread it with butter (or margarine), sprinkle sugar on it (some people also like to sprinkle cinnamon on their lefse), and roll into a log.
Also, once the lefse is cool, it can be frozen.
This recipe is from the book Christmas In Dairyland by LeAnn R. Ralph.