Lefse: A Christmas Tradition

lefsa One Christmas tradition my children love is lefse.

I was first introduced to this Scandinavian treat at my first Christmas with my husband’s family.

I confess that I wasn’t impressed.

My sister-in-law told me later that lefse is best eaten warm, right off the griddle with lots of butter and sprinkled with sugar.

My children all learned to love lefse at an early age and in time I began to experiment with it myself.

My sister-in-law was right! It is incredible right off the griddle with the butter melting and dripping down.

It is now a tradition that I make once a year and serve at our Christmas Eve family meal. I make it ahead and freeze it, then warm it to serve. My husband and children love it that way.

I, however, eat my share the day I bake it – warm and dripping with butter! Now everybody’s happy.

Lefse

3 cups riced potatoes (these are potatoes that are peeled, cooked, and then put through a ricer. This makes sure you have no lumps. If you don’t have a ricer just mash the potatoes well.)

Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the warm potatoes and let cool. Add 3/4 cup of flour to the potatoes when you are ready to roll them.

Mix it well.

Make the dough into small 1 inch balls and roll as thin as you can. Don’t worry if it isn’t a pretty circle- your kids won’t mind!

As you get more experienced with lefse you can make them bigger, but smaller is easier to work with in the beginning. They are also easier to cook on a regular griddle. You need a lefse griddle to make the large sizes.

A true Scandinavian would use a lefse rolling pin (as seen in the picture) to put the lovely little grooves in the lefse. But I have used a regular rolling pin and it worked alright- I just wouldn’t serve them to a Swede!

You may need to add more flour to each lump of dough as it is rolled out if it falls apart.

Bake on a very hot, ungreased lefse griddle or a regular pancake griddle. Turn when they have small brown spots on them. Turn only once.

To eat, butter them well, sprinkle with sugar if desired and roll them up.

I will confess here that I have in the past (alright- almost every year) used left-over mashed potatoes to make my lefse. I even add the extra butter and they have always turned out quite yummy! (Just don’t my mother-in-law or sister-in-law!)