Beatrice Ojakangas

Recipes from the Scandinavian Chef

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Location: Duluth, Minnesota, United States


The Best Lefse Recipe Ever

This recipe makes a large amount of lefse - about 100 rounds. If you like you can easily cut the recipe in half or even in quarters. Just a couple of things I would like to emphasize. 1) That you refrigerate the mashed potato mixture UNCOVERED overnight or at least 8 hours until it is really cold. 2)That you do NOT add flour until just before you're ready to start rolling out the lefse. If it stands too long, either at room temperature or in the fridge, it will water down and you'll have a mess on your hands. However, this makes delicious lefse.
Oh, I know - many people have their own favorite recipe, but this one works!
I will be teaching lefse lessons at First Lutheran Church in Duluth, Minnesota in November. This is to be able to make enough lefse to serve some 1200 guests at our annual Lutefisk, Salmon and Meatball dinner, which is always held on the first Wednesday in December (Hours go from noon to seven P.M. - we're not really sure of the price, yet, for his year as it depends on the costs incurred.)
10 pounds Russet/Burbank or Russet potatoes (very important that they are Russets!)
1 pound butter (not margarine)
1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream
1 and 1/2 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
Flour (added later)
Utensils you will need:
Lefse grill
Lefse sticks
Rolling pin and sock
Pastry cloth covered board
Potato ricer
Potato masher
Ice Cream Scoop that measures about 1/3 cup
Large piece of plastic, like a garbage bag split open
Terry Towels
Ziplock bags for storing the finished product

Peel, boil (just until done, don’t let the potatoes get mushy), drain, rice, and mash the potatoes.

Mash in the butter, whipping cream, salt and sugar until no lumps remain. Turn into a large bowl, smooth the top and cool, UNCOVERED, in the refrigerator overnight.
Next day, preheat the grill to 480 to 500*F. (You don't grease it, it must be dry.)
Place a large plastic bag on the counter and lay a terry towel on top – you will stack the cooked lefse on one end and fold the towel and plastic over. The towel absorbs moisture, the plastic keeps it just moist enough.
Rub the rolling surface with flour. Rub flour into the sock-covered rolling pin.
Cut cold mashed potato mixture into quarters. Remove one quarter into a bowl and put the rest back into the fridge.
Working with one quarter at a time, mix in 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour.
Using your hands, mix the flour into the potato until well blended. Once you add flour to the potatoes, you are committed to that batch of dough – if you let it stand too long it will get soft and sticky. (You can keep the remaining 3 quarters in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 24 to 48 hours.)
With an ice cream scoop, scoop out balls about the size of a golf ball and form quickly into a ball. Dust the ball with flour and flatten it out.
Place onto the floured, cloth-covered, pastry board and with a floured sock-covered rolling pin, roll the dough out evenly into a large circle. Don't hesitate to use plenty of flour at first. Wet spots can become a problem. (If you do get a wet spot, rub flour onto it and with the straight edge of a plastic dough cutter, scrape carefully to remove as much of the wet spot as possible.)
Using a lefse stick, transfer the round onto the heated grill. The lefse will begin to bubble. Peek at the grilled side – you’re looking for nice, light brown spots. Slide the stick under it and carefully flip it over.
If edges of the lefse begin to get dry, brown and curl, you are grilling them too long. If it is not browning well, but remains light, your grill temperature is to low.
Stack the cooked rounds one on top of the other and cover with the towel and plastic. You’ll need a towel and plastic for each quarter of the dough. Cool 4 to 5 hours, then carefully, fold each lefse into quarters and place into ziplock bags (I usually put a dozen in a bag). Refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze. Makes about 100 lefse

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Blogger Beatrice Ojakangas said...

I forgot to mention that you should call First Lutheran Church in Duluth to get the schedule for lefse lessons. 1-218-728-3668

11:59 AM  
Blogger Xtreme English said...

lucky ducks! do you ever travel to other places to give lessons?

9:45 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

Beatrice, I have made lefse with my mom with multiple recipes over the years. Last year we started using a smaller version of your recipe that was on Martha Stewart and I must say it turns out better than any of the old recipes I've used. I finally enjoy making Lefse. My 5 year old daughter can even help now. Thanks.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Eli said...

I submitted this recipe to the Norwegian American News Paper (formerly the Norwegian American Weekly) about 3 years ago and they printed the website for Beatrice's recipe. It was my first attempt at making lefse and was prepared to throw the whole mess into the garbage if it did not work out (I have no patience). But it all worked beautifully and easily. I did cut the recipe into quarter of the original. I was not feeding 100 people. They also freeze well. I also used the ricer blade on my food processor. I also have the rolling pin with the grooves so did not need the sock. And I have an island that has a stainless steel top so did not need the sock board for rolling out. I already had the lefse grill (my mother's....we are immigrants from Norway...1952..and never watched her make them so don't even have her recipe...she is no longer with us to teach me).

11:25 AM  

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