Food - Drink
Lefse: The Versatile Norwegian Flatbread You Should Know
By CHLOÉ ASTOR ST. CLAIR
What is lefse?
Lefse is an unleavened flatbread similar to French crêpes, Indian chapati, and Mexican flour tortillas, but lefse dough is made with cooked potatoes instead of wheat flour. The potato dough is rolled out, formed into circles, cooked, and served with either sweet or savory toppings.
How to make lefse
To make lefse, combine boiled potatoes with cream or half and half, blend until smooth, and let the mixture cool overnight; the next day, add in your flour and knead until smooth. Then you can roll it out, form circles, and cook both sides on a hot surface — preferably a griddle — until lightly browned.
Fresh vs. dried lefse
Historically, Norwegians have dried batches of lefse to sustain themselves through hard Scandinavian winters; this dried lefse can be rehydrated before serving. Today, both dried and fresh lefse are available, but fresh lefse has a better taste and texture and can keep for up to a year when frozen.
What does it taste like?
If you’ve ever had a bowl of warm, creamy mashed potatoes, then you can imagine what lefse tastes like. It has a warm, buttery flavor and a doughy, tortilla-like texture that lends itself to savory and sweet combinations; just like mashed potatoes, any toppings you add will be enhanced by a bit of buttery flavor.
Versatile treat
Lefse is best served hot, and they can easily be reheated on the stove. Popular adornments include more butter or a coat of syrup or sugar; if you want to go all out, lefse can be dressed up like French toast with berries and hazelnut-chocolate spread, or paired with meats, cheeses, and fish.