Lefse FAQ’s

Lefse FAQ’s
How far in advance can I make my lefse patties? The day before?

We really recommend that you mix up your dough, scoop out your patties and get right to rolling. I know there are a lot of you out there that when it comes to making lefse, it’s a marathon! You might be cooking up to 20lbs of potatoes and want to get as much done in advance as you can. Patties made a day before tend to “breakdown” overnight. They can get discolored and watery, turning into a rolling nightmare. Now a few hour in advance? No problem, just keep the patties on the chilly side.

Can I substitute half and half for the cream?

Well you can substitute ingredients in your lefse recipe but you won’t get the same lefse your used to getting. Changes to the recipe can really alter how your lefse tastes, the texture,  and how it performs rolling & cooking. So if you are looking to use half & half, you may need to cut back in the amount a just a bit. I don’t think that lefse is bad for you…but maybe you can cut back on all the butter and sugar you eat it with. :)

I’m cooking lefse again next week with my sister. Do I have to wash my pastry cloth?

Nope! You don’ have to wash it. Take your pastry cloth off the board and give it a hearty shake outside. I always suggest outside- you don’t want a flour cloud in the house, there’s already enough flour everywhere! So you can then stretch the cloth back over the board and store somewhere cool and dry until next week. If it’s gonna be longer than that, take your freshly shaken cloth, fold a couple times and place into a zip top bag. Toss it in the freezer until your ready again. Tip! Be sure and pull the cloth out of the bag immediately, there could be a bit of frost in the bag.

I’ve cooked all my lefse! Now, how do I clean my pastry cloth and lefse cozies?

First things first, take your pastry cloth & cozies outside and give them a big ole shake! Shake out as much flour as you can. Then go ahead and toss them in the wash. Our best tip? Be sure to use unscented detergent and no fabric softener or dryer sheets. You could end up with ‘Spring Fresh’ scented lefse! I had to learn that lesson the hard way MANY years ago. :)

How do I prep my corrugated rolling pin for making lefse?

A well prepped rolling pin makes lefse rolling a snap! Take your clean and dry corrugated rolling pin and pack each groove completely with flour. We found that using a tray full of flour and rolling your pin back and forth through the flour is super handy. But be sure to firmly push the flour into each groove. Do this step between each sheet of lefse you roll.

How do I prep my pastry cloth for rolling lefse?

A well prepped pastry cloth will prevent your lefse dough from sticking. Stretch your cloth tightly over the pastry board. Place a couple tablespoons of flour over the cloth. Begin rubbing the flour into the cloth with your hands, use firm pressure and try to push the flour into the cloth. If the flour all goes in, keep adding more until it won’t take anymore. Then sprinkle additional flour over the surface and spread lightly over the surface. Give an additional sprinkle over the center area, where every patty starts for rolling. Re-prep your board between every sheet with a light sprinkle of flour, a little pressure to rub, additional sprinkle to lightly cover surface and the additional sprinkle in the center.

Do I have to use rolling pin covers to keep my dough from sticking to the rolling pin?
No. Personal preference reigns here. At Lefse Time we like the markings a corrugated rolling pin leaves on a rolled sheet of lefse so we skip the covers. However, I know plenty of people who wouldn’t dream of rolling lefse without rolling pin covers. They are easy to use. Slip the cover over the end of your pin then rub in generous amounts of flour and your ready to go. I have found it’s easiest to prep your cover by pretending to roll a sheet of lefse but your using flour, no dough in sight.
I have followed your lefse making instructions carefully. Now can you tell me how I should store my lefse?
Lefse should be refrigerated or frozen. Our lefse is made with no preservatives, so it can take a week or so in the fridge. In the refrigerator, it needs to stay in its sealed package or it will dry out. If you don’t plan on eating it right away, toss it in the freezer. Lefse can be kept 6 months in the freezer if properly wrapped.
Which grill is better for cooking lefse, the aluminum or the silverstone finish?
There’s no right answer here. It’s what do you prefer. Both grills will cook beautiful lefse. However, if you would like your grill to do more than cook lefse, teflon finish is the way to go. The nonstick coating allows you to make pancakes, fry burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches the list goes on. I prefer to use the aluminum finish for making lefse. I have found that the lefse can slip around a little on the Teflon finish when trying to turn.
Which lefse stick do you prefer?

This is the “what do your prefer” answer again. Historically and traditionally speaking, the 7/8″ stick is the choice. At Lefse Time we have found the 1 1/2″ stick to make things a little quicker when flipping the lefse.

I tried making lefse but end product is so sticky I can’t get off my fingers and too sticky to roll, what am I doing wrong?
Lefse dough will stick to your fingers when mixing. Despite being sticky the dough should be pretty firm and able to form into patties that will hold their shape. If this isn’t what is happening for you I would guess that you have to much moisture in your recipe. The moisture could start with over cooked potatoes, too much liquid ingredient or not enough flour. Over cooking the potatoes tends to be the leading culprit with many of our customers. The potatoes absorb too much water and are “wet” and then you add your liquid ingredients on top of that with your normal amount of flour and you have very mushy lefse dough which is very hard to work with. Especially when rolling, it wants to stick to everything. If you think you have overcooked your potatoes be sure to let them drain considerably and ‘steam off’ for a few minutes. Then you most likely will need to cut back on your liquid ingredients but shouldn’t have to add any additional flour.
The edges of my lefse are crispy. . . what am I doing wrong?
Crispy edges can pose a problem but are preventable. Mostly you want to be sure that your lefse edges are not getting rolled too thin, and then try using a bit less flour on your pastry board near where the finished edges of your lefse fall. You want a uniform thickness throughout your lefse sheet for even cooking. A spot that’s too thin will cook more quickly than the rest of your sheet and end up crispy. You can help soften crispy edges by stacking the lefse right off the grill about 12 high, making sure to keep the sheets between lefse cozies or towels. This will cause a steam effect and soften things up.
Sometimes my lefse falls off the stick between rolling and placing on the grill–even if I move swiftly. Is this a sign of too much or not enough of something?
Typically this problem (lefse falling of the stick) is caused from lefse dough that is too moist. Which can be the result of a few different things. The first thing is to make sure your potatoes have not beenover-boiled. You should be able to easily pierce the potatoes with a fork with a very slight resistance and then drain well. You can easily recognize if the potatoes have been overcooked when you rice the potatoes and large amounts of water squeezes out of your ricer. Depending on your recipe, the next culprit would be too much cream, especially if them potatoes have been over-boiled. You might need to cut the amount of cream up to half the amount. Lastly it would be not enough flour. But I advise against adding lots of flour as your first resort to ‘fix’ the moisture problem. It can make your lefse tougher and less flavorful.
I know you suggest refrigerating lefse but mine seems to retain moisture when refrigerated. Is there a better way to store it? Is it possible to not refrigerate it if eaten in 1-2 days? If so, what’s the best way to store it unrefrigerated?
Refrigeration is suggested because of the perishable nature of lefse, especially those recipes containing dairy products. Before packaging your lefse, make sure that your sheets are completely cooled; any heat retained will cause condensation in your packaging which gives you soggy lefse. Or you might try cooking your lefse a bit longer the next batch, which will cook out a bit more of the moisture. I wouldn’t suggest leaving your lefse on the counter, but there are those that do, and understand that the lefse is kept in a Tupperware-like container with waxed paper between sheets.
Does putting the dough in the refrigerator really make a difference?
Always, always refrigerate your lefse dough if you are not going to immediately cook with it. Potatoes spoil very quickly and I would hate to see that you have to start all over. If, after mixing in your other ingredients to the riced potatoes, you find that your lefse dough is loose or sticky, putting your lefse dough in the refrigerator can really make a difference. A few hours in the refrigerator can really stiffen it up and make it much easier to roll out. And on the flip side, if you already have a fairly stiff dough, time in the refrigerator can make it very difficult to roll out.
I don’t know how to serve lefse. Can you help?
There is no right answer to this. In my family there are 2 ways that we traditionally serve lefse. One is to cut an entire lefse round into quarters. Butter the entire quarter and then fold in half. Each wedge is considered one serving. The other is to roll the quarter (or cut the quarter in half again and then roll). But do what you like, maybe your a husky norske and half a sheet is more to your liking for serving!
I have a bethany lefse grill and it did not come with instructions, when first using it do I need to do any pre-treating?