Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Potato Lefse

April 1, 2014 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, pancakes/waffles, tuesdays with dorie | 24 Comments
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potato lefse

I didn’t really know much about Potato Lefse before Beatrice Ojakangas’s TWD recipe of the week.  I quizzed my half-Norwegian friend, and she told me that they are kind of like crêpes and that there’s also a non-potato variety.  She said she’s never made them herself, but buys premade ones and reheats them.  Ha–looks like I’m one up on you now, Karen!  That was mean…I should invite her over for leftovers and see what she thinks.

Making the lefse dough was easy.  It basically starts with super-smooth mashed potatoes that you air dry in the fridge overnight.  Then the next day, you knead flour into the mash and divide the dough into pieces.  Shaping and cooking the dough is where it gets tricky.  There are a whole host of special tools that  hard-core lefse enthusiasts use– a grooved rolling pin and a cloth-covered round board to roll the dough, a big, flat round griddle to cook the lefse on and a long, flat wooden stick to lift and flip them.  Darn, I don’t have any of that stuff.  I poked around the cabinets to see what I could use instead.  This is what I came up with: my regular rolling pin and my Silpat to roll the dough, and a flat cast iron crêpe pan and stick that I have.  It would have been easier to cook these with another person, so one could roll the lefse dough balls while the other cooked them off.  By myself, it was kind of a process, but I got better as I moved along.  My crêpe pan is only 11″ wide, as opposed to 16″ for a lefse pan, so I divided my dough into 16 balls instead of 12.  With plenty of flour, I was able to get them rolled nice and thin on the Silpat.  I didn’t even need that stick to lift them off…I was just kind of able to flip and peel them onto my hand, tortilla-style.  They cooked up perfectly and got nice speckles on the crêpe pan, and the stick came in handy for flipping them.

potato lefse

Apparently, much like a crêpe, you can wrap lefse around lots of fillings (even hot dogs–gotta try that!), but we went the sweet route for breakfast, with butter and cinnamon sugar on some an lingonberry jam on others.  They do taste slightly potatoey, but it’s a pleasant earthiness that was surprisingly nice with the sweet fillings. For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  As Sandra pointed out there’s a video of Beatrice making lefse alongside Martha Stewart.  Beatrice uses slightly different measurements than she does in the book, but it’s a great watch for the process of making, shaping and cooking the dough.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!


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  1. Wow, great idea, haven’t heard of these potato’y delights before…love that you were crafty in finding tools you needed to “get ‘er done”, I’m so like that. Looks yum, will have to try. Best, Christine

  2. Never made these before but you make them sound easy enough (and delicious)! Will give them a go.

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  4. Looks great Steph! We also ate ours with cinnamon-sugar and my husband was in heaven. He grew up on potato pancakes (latkes) and always ate those with cinnamon-sugar as well – so this took him back to childhood!

  5. They look fabulous! I haven’t had time to do this one, but I will definitely try it when I do.

  6. Yours turned out great! I was worried about all the special tools needed as well but just improvised like you..no problem. 🙂

  7. Mine are sitting in the freezer, but I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s filling ideas for when I bring them out!
    They look great.

  8. Never heard of these! I will have to try them. I bet it’s good wrapped around smoked salmon and fresh cheese.

  9. Wonderful! I have a great story about lefse (and my Norwegian mom and grandma) in my post. Lefse has a special place in my heart…..and tummy?1? LOL!

  10. potatoey crepes? Intriguing…

  11. I hadn’t heard of lefses before this. They were easy to make and delicious. Your pic of them looks great.

  12. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually did try the hot dog thing tonight. Not bad! You photos are beautiful.

  13. They look lovely and you did a great job with the shaping.

  14. Love how we can come together as a group and share so many fun ideas and facts about the stuff we create using the same recipe. Your’s looks really good… 🙂

  15. Yours look perfect! You got them nice and thin. I just cannot wrap (no pun intended) my head around the hotdog idea.. I guess its not much different from a pig in a blanket, hey?

  16. Awesome looking lefses! I wasn’t quite organised enough to make it with the group, but would like to try this anyway!

  17. I’m hoping to make these up at the end of the month. Yours came out beautifully! I’m glad to know they worked with improvised tools. I certainly don’t have any of the special ones.

  18. The cinnamon sugar looks so good sprinkled on the speckles. So nice and thin, your lefse look quite delicate!

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  20. I am crazy about all things pancake and crepes. I have never heard of lefse and will certainly have to give these a try!

  21. Looks delicious! Do you have any hearty fillings you might recommend or would it be best to stick with more sweet fillings?

    • These would be great with savory fillings…in Norway it’s also traditional to have them wrapped around hot dogs. Lots of others who made them used them as sandwich wraps. I also think anything you like in savory crepes would work well.

  22. Can you post the recipe please. None of your links work.

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