Tuesday, April 1, 2014

TWD: Potato Lefse

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie challenge featured a wonderful recipe for potato lefse. I had never before heard or eaten lefse, so this was definitely an experience for me! Lefse are essentially crepes made with potatoes in addition to flour, cream, butter, and sugar. Once made, they can be rolled with sweet or savory fillings.

I veered from the recipe a bit. I did not cook the potatoes as dictated in the recipe, choosing instead to utilize some of the leftover potatoes I had from our dinner the previous night. I did this for a couple reason. For one, lefse seems like the sort of recipe you would use when you had leftover potatoes lying around, so I wanted to see if it would work with my leftovers. Also, I really did not feel like purchasing and boiling potatoes. I'm lazy.

So, I took my leftover red potatoes (I had enough for half a recipe of lefse), peeled the skins off as best I could, and then pushed them through a ricer. I then added the cream, butter, sugar, and salt and mixed it up until it was as smooth as I could get it. I skipped the chilling process and proceeded to add my flour, little at a time, until a cohesive dough formed.

Rolling them out proved to be quite simple, provided that I kept my counter floured as much as possible. I was able to get them rolled out really thin. Again, being lazy and in a bit of a hurried mood, I did not work really hard at getting them into a perfect concentric circle. They were kind of oblong shaped, but still looked great. We tossed them on our hot skillet and they cooked for about 1-2 minutes on the first side. After being flipped and cooking for 30 additional seconds, they were transferred to a kitchen towel while the remaining lefse were rolled and cooked.

Since I only made half a recipe, I got six lefse. I think they looked quite pretty! Paul was hovering as they were coming off the heat. He loves everything potato and could not wait to get his hands on one. He read the serving suggestions for the lefse in my cookbook and chose to simply baste them in butter, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar, and then roll them up! He was so eager to eat one, I think he was quite angry at me for taking pictures as he worked on his snack.

We loved the taste of these. Paul said they reminded him of making latkes while growing up. It was one of his favorite snacks - especially when covered with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar. He made me promise to make them again and I definitely will! I'll have to keep this recipe in mind whenever we have cooked potatoes hanging around the fridge because leftovers work really, really well!

Potato Lefse
adapted from Baking with Julia

1 1/2 pounds leftover baked potatoes, warmed, skins removed and pressed through a ricer
1/2 stick (2 ounce) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (more or less as needed) all-purpose flour

Combine the potatoes with the butter, cream, sugar, and salt. Mix until very smooth. Add in 1 cup of lour and mix with your hands. Gradually add additional flour (anywhere from 1/4 - 1/2 cup) a tablespoon at a time until a dough forms. The mixture should feel like a real dough. When you can pinch a piece of dough without having it stick to your fingers, it is perfect!

Preheat an ungreased 12-inch skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium high heat on your stovetop. Prepare a terry cloth towel for stacking the cooked lefse.

Divide the dough into quarters and the quarters into thirds. Working with one piece of dough at a tie and keeping the remaining dough covered, form the dough into a ball with your hands. Put the dough on a well-floured surface and pat into a round. Using light pressure, work with the rolling pin to roll into  dough into a large round that is as thin as you can possibly roll it. Keep everything well floured (including your rolling pin!). Carefully roll/drape the lefse over your rolling pin (similar to how you would pie dough) and transfer to skillet on the stovetop. Carefully place in skillet and bake for 1-2 minutes or until the top bubbles and the underside is speckled with brown. Using a wide spatula, flip the lefse over and cook for an additional 30-45 seconds or until speckled brown on the bottom.

Remove from the griddle and place on the terry cloth towel. Cover with plastic. Roll out and bake the next lefse as before.

Serve warm with cinnamon sugar and rolled up!


  1. Okay, I am going to have to try these with the cinnamon sugar! Looks delicious.

  2. Lovely!!! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed them. :)

  3. They are a Norweigen staple! Very popular here in Minnesota as a cultural food for all the tall blond Lutherans that inhabit this state. My coworker brought it in once and served it with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. So good!

  4. Glad to hear it works with left-overs! No need to make a huge batch next time.

  5. Yours look beautiful! I kept my leftovers in the fridge and they have held up really well. So good!

  6. Yes, now leftover potatoes are a good thing!! Great looking lefses! I was surprised by how easy and delicious these were.

  7. Yum.... Your's look like they turned out very nice too. I really liked how simple the recipe was.

  8. Nicely done! Hurry or not, I can never roll a perfect circle - unless I'm trying for a rectangle or square - go figure. One day, I hope to learn the secret of rolling a circle. :)

  9. yes, I bet lefse were "born" out of a need to use leftovers. glad you liked them! and I totally didn't worry about them being imperfectly rolled out...once they are rolled up, no one can tell that they were crazy shapes.

  10. Imperfectly rolled out breads have character! Your lefse look great! I am wondering if baked potatoes might work better in this recipe since they have less moisture than boiled potatoes?