Vicky wrote in asking us if people still make lefse without potatoes. Well, you bet they do! But you know what? I don’t know how! So sweet Vicky shared with us her families recipe! Thank you Vicky!
Here’s a litte from Vicky, “I use a 50 year old electric fry pan, my dad bought me for my wedding. I usually make a double batch and freeze some for my kids to take home. I learned to make lefse from my mom, Joan and also from my grandmother Lizzie, who used to make it on the top of her cookstove. I am glad I can share our family’s recipe.”
We’ve been doing lefse for quite a while now. I am not going to go so far as saying we are experts but we are pretty darn close! 😀 Over the years we have been asked many, many questions from our customers and lefse lovers across the nation. We’ve actually compiled a very nice list of FAQ’s which we share on our All About Lefse Page. This list covers the top questions we get on the lefse recipe.
Top 5 Lefse Recipe Questions
- Q: What kind of potatoes are the best for making lefse?
A: Russets!! They are just such a hardy potato and hold up great during the boiling process. So when you go shopping for your potatoes pick up a bag of nice firm russet potatoes that are uniform in size. If you can, choose the Idaho russets.
- Q: Why are the edges of my lefse crispy?
A: Crispy edges are almost always the result of the edges of the lefse being rolled to thin. You want to roll a uniformly thick sheet of lefse, right to the edges. The tip? Pick up your rolling pin when you get to the edge, don’t roll past.
- Q: Why is my lefse dough so sticky?
A: Uff Da! What a pain in the butt sticky lefse dough is! So how’d it happen? The potatoes were over cooked. So when you are boiling your spuds up, you want them cooked until just fork tender. If you poke the potatoes with a fork and they fall apart they are overdone for lefse. A little on the firmer side is always better.
- Q: Can I make my lefse patties a day in advance?
A: Ummm, nope. Patties just start “breaking” down overnight. Not sure if that’s the right word, but they can get watery and discolored. Making a few hours in advance – no problem. Just keep them on the cooler side.
- Q: Can I substitute ingredients?
A: Well you can but that makes a huge impact on flavor, texture, performance and results. It’s lefse people, it’s tradition. Why mess with it? Besides, I don’t think the lefse itself is loaded with calories but I know the butter, sugar, sausages, jellies and all the yummy stuff you put on it is! 🙂
Stay tuned for our next list of the Top 5 Lefse Equipment Questions.
Now. Do you have a question for us? Send us an email and if our lefse gurus determine it’s a good one we’ll send you a free gift!
Happy Lefse Time!
I would imagine your history with lefse isn’t much different than mine. Your great great great’s, great great’s and long line of Norwegians made lefse and taught all the following generations how to do it. But my long line of Norwegians is now quite a “blended melting pot”. My mostly Norwegian Dad married my mostly French/Italian Mom. And my husband’s ancestry is German/Polish, making my children quite a blend!
But guess what? We all love lefse! So this past weekend I ran over to my in-law’s and taught them how to make lefse. The little ones are always so eager to learn.
And get their hands dirty! My sweet little niece had us in fits of giggles with comments like, “It’s so squishy!”
We were quickly onto the most “scary” part – rolling! I’ve taught a lot of people how to roll and most all of them were so nervous about rolling out the lefse.
It turns out they were just worried it wouldn’t turn into a circle. Well who cares! Because guess what? They all taste delicious whether they are circles or shaped like amoeba’s (that’s my moms favorite shape). Here my sister-in-law rocks it! Start with an oval and work it out. And my other sweet, not-so-little anymore, niece is cooking up a storm.
We turned out a nice double batch of lefse and may have sampled a few during the process. It’s soooo good hot of the grill.
We hope you are teaching your next generation of lefse lovers the finer points of cooking too! Share the love of lefse and tell us your story.
One of my very favorite Scandinavian cookies is the sandbakkel. I have very fond memories of enjoying sandbakkels on the front porch of our very Norwegian family friends. Mom would give everyone haircuts and catch up on the goings on at the farm, while I would nibble on cookies and play. Sweet old Hazel shared her treasured recipe with my mom and that’s the only one we’ve ever used. Why mess with perfection?
Whooops! Did I say perfection? Well there’s bound to be a few cracks along the way. But those cookies that don’t make the cut, are the best cookies for taste testing and quality control!
So go ahead and whip up a batch of goodness! I missed some pictures of the mixing and tin prep but I think you can get that done just fine. I DO use non-stick cooking spray on my tins. There’s the old story that you shouldn’t have to but no one likes cookies stuck in the tin. I like to roll my dough up into little balls, about a heaping teaspoon full.
Then just start pressing out the dough. For camera purposes you see just one hand working but I use both thumbs and just rotate the tin and keep pressing up to the edges.
Try to get a nice even thickness throughout the whole cookie. You don’t want a really think bottom to your cookie and edges that are super thin. Translates to overdone edges to get your bottom cooked through.
After pressing out all the tins, place on a cookie sheet. I like 12 to a sheet. Nice even spacing = nice even baking. And into the oven they go. Uff da! Only like 6 more sheets to go. Mom made a double batch…our poor thumbs!
TaDa! Presto! There they are. All golden brown and beautiful in their little ole tins. And sorry, these tins are oldies, like antiques. My mom rescued them out of the garbage when Gram got a little ticked because they weren’t coming out of the tins. 🙂 The new styles are very pretty too though!
To cool, I like to take the tins off the cookie sheet. Here we’ve moved them over to our newspaper covered work area. Why newspaper? Ask your Grandma! HA! Well our recipe uses good old fashioned ingredients like LARD and the newspaper catches any extra. Plus, that’s how Hazel did it.
Okay, so now cooling. Couple comments for you here. If you are super concerned with the cookies coming out of the tins go ahead and flip them over right away out of the oven. DO NOT remove the tins yet, you’re hard work will spread all over. While they’re hot give the tin a little love tap. Here’s my mom with the strongest hands in the world. I guess 50+ years of hard work makes them tougher than hot pads!
Wait until completely cooled and remove the tins. OR you let them cool right side up. Like cool enough that my wimpy hands can handle it. Give the tin a gentle squeeze and the sandbakkel should pop right out. Might need to rotate around and squeeze a couple different times but you should be good.
So pretty! And this is where I wish the Smell-0-Vision really was something. The kitchen smelled soooo good! And let’s just say there may have been a few cookies that didn’t make the cut. With a hot cup of coffee mom and I determined that these were the bomb!
Now, give your tins another little spritz of cooking spray and do it again! It’s really ideal to have a least a set of 24 tins. 12 in the oven and 12 to prep while they cook. And you just keep rotating through. Enjoy!
- ½ c sugar
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- ½ c lard
- ½ c butter
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups plus flour (like a slightly rounded cup)
Blend together sugars, lard and butter. Add egg, vanilla, salt and stir. Add flour and stir. Refrigerate for an hour. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.