Traditional Norwegian Lefse Recipe

Every culture has its own version of flatbread to doll up with various accoutrements, and enjoy at mealtime. In Norway, their version is lefse, and it's commonly served for breakfast with morning coffee. Recipe developer and wellness coach Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe and says, "I love all types of bread, especially flatbread, that lends itself to adding all sorts of toppings. My favorite thing about lefse is [that] it's doughy and soft, similar to a thin pancake or crepe. Although you can serve lefse with savory toppings, I love to serve it for breakfast or brunch with butter, jam, fresh fruit, chocolate sauce, sugar, and cinnamon." 

The main difference between lefse and typical flatbreads is the addition of potatoes as a base ingredient. "Potatoes have several health benefits, and anytime I can sneak vegetables [into] my cooking, it's a bonus," Hahn goes on to say. Read on to learn how to make this nutrient-rich lesfe flatbread.

Gather the ingredients for traditional Norwegian lefse

To make this recipe, you'll need a few russet potatoes, butter, salt, heavy cream, and all-purpose flour. Hahn says to use unsalted butter here, since we will be adding salt and says, "If you can't find heavy cream, heavy whipping cream [works as well]." If you want to pick up some fun toppings to go with your lefse, you can optionally grab some strawberries, chocolate sauce, jam, sugar, or cinnamon.

Prepare the potato mixture

To start, peel and cube the potatoes. Add them to a medium pot, cover with water, and add ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 12 minutes, or until they are fork-tender. When the potatoes are done, drain them, and using a potato ricer, shred the potatoes. If you don't have a potato ricer, mash the potatoes with a potato masher, until they are completely smooth. Stir in the butter, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and cream, then cover, and put the potatoes the fridge for 2 hours. If you plan to make the lefse the next day, the mixture is fine to sit overnight in the fridge.

Make the dough

Once the potato mixture has chilled for 2 hours, stir in the flour. Remove the dough from the bowl, put it on a lightly-floured surface, and knead it for 2 minutes. The dough should be very smooth at this point. Form the dough into 2 long logs that are 8-inches long. Then, cut each log into 8 sections, giving you a total of 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, and place a towel over the dough balls to keep them moist.

Cook the lefse, and serve

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. While the skillet is heating, roll each dough ball into a 6-inch-wide circle. If you want it to have a perfect edge, use an upside bowl to trace it into a perfect circle shape. Cook each dough circle for 1 minute on one side, then flip it to the other side, and cook for 45 seconds. There should be brown spots on each side to show that it is cooked perfectly. As you finish cooking each lefse, place it on a plate, and cover with a dishtowel to keep it warm. Enjoy the lefse flat, folded, or rolled with lots of fun toppings, such as strawberries, jam, butter, chocolate sauce, or more. 

Traditional Norwegian Lefse Recipe
5 from 66 ratings
Enjoy this traditional Norwegian lefse recipe like any flatbread - as a dippable bread for sauces, or a base for jams.
Prep Time
Cook Time
folded flatbread with coffee
Total time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
  • 1 pound, or 3 medium, russet potatoes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ¼ cup butter, cubed
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
Optional Ingredients
  • sliced strawberries
  • butter
  • chocolate sauce
  • jam
  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  1. Peel and cube the potatoes. Put them in a medium-sized pot, cover with water, and add ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium for about 12 minutes, or until they are fork-tender.
  2. Drain the potatoes, and run them through a potato ricer, or mash by hand, in a large bowl. Add the butter, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and cream, cover, and chill for 2 hours.
  3. Remove the potato mixture from the refrigerator, and stir in the flour. Put the dough on a lightly-floured surface, and knead for 2 minutes, until smooth.
  4. Lightly-flour your work surface. Form the dough into 2, 8-inch logs, and cut each one into 8 sections to get 16 pieces. Shape each section into a ball. Then, roll each dough circle out into a 6-inch circle.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is heated, cook 1 dough circle for about 1 minute on the first side, flip, then cook for about 45 seconds on the other side.
  6. Continue this process, until you have cooked all of the lefse. Serve either with savory meats, or optionally with butter, sugar, cinnamon, jam, or fruit.
Calories per Serving 89
Total Fat 4.4 g
Saturated Fat 2.7 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 12.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 0.3 g
Sodium 101.0 mg
Protein 1.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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