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Les and Leo's Lefse Recipe

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This recipe for Les and Leo's Lefse, by , is from Brues, Let's Eat, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Les Brue
Added: Sunday, February 8, 2009


8 cups of riced boiled russet potatoes (about five lbs)
½ cup butter at room temperature
½ cup whipping cream at room temperature
1 T salt
4 cups flour

Boil potatoes until they are cooked just enough to rice
Drain and rice potatoes. If your ricer leaves coarse potatoes rice them twice
Stir in the butter and ceam while the potatoes are still warm/hot
Refrigerate until chilled
Mix in the flour and shape into tennis ball (or smaller) sized pieces
Refrigerate overnight
Heat your ungreased grill/griddle to 500°
Take one ball from the refrigerator at a time
Roll it flat to paper thinness on a lightly floured rolling board
To transfer the lefse to the griddle, use a lefse spatula (long, thin wooden blade) or a small rolling pin to roll the flattened dough around and carry it to the grill and unroll the lefse dough on the hot griddle.
Flatten the bubbles as it cooks and when there are brown speckles (a minute or two) on the underside flip it and repeat.
Repeat with each tennis ball
Serve with butter and sugar

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
A Few Norwegians or a lot of others
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
2 days
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
I’d like to dedicate this lefse recipe to my brother Leo. Leo and I both enjoyed traditional marriages in 20th Century America. Our wives Ruby and Margie tended to the kitchen and cooking while we were outside with our animals, farm work or shop projects. He would have greatly enjoyed this family cookbook project but would have been quick to remind me that he and I were a little handier in the shop than in the kitchen. No matter about that-- on one occasion when Ruby and I were visiting Leo and Margie on their L&M ranch in LeCompte, Louisiana, Leo had the idea that he and I should make lefse.
Norwegians tend to specialize in white food think of codfish, potatoes, and white flour. The Holy Trinity of white food dishes in the Nels Brue household were lefse, lutefisk and gomme. These were generally not very appetizing to the uninitiated but lefse was a little more approachable than the other two. How can a person go wrong with potatoes, butter and cream. I believe that one of the advantages of lefse in the pre refrigeration era was that it could be cooked, dried and kept for days. My Mother often had it at hand and it was necessary to sprinkle it with water before spreading it with butter.
The lefse Leo and I made that day in Louisiana would not have passed muster in our Mother’s household but we had fun. Ruby must have spilled the beans because sometime not too long after that our daughter Catheryn presented us with a proper lefse griddle and a booklet of recipes. Lefse turns out better when you follow the recipe.
Ruby has been pretty accepting of Norwegians customs and I’m grateful for that. For my part I happily drink the tea of her English heritage. Sometimes of course she’ll make little adjustments and her adjustment for lefse is to spread it with salsa and roll it up. I’m flexible about that. I remember the tradition of spreading lefse with butter and sugar to the point where the butter ran down the chins of the old Norwegians when they ate it.
Let’s face it—lefse has an image problem or maybe even a “lack of image” problem. I sometimes wonder if it would be a bigger hit in America if they called it Norwegian Flat Bread. That’s really what it is. If we grated a little Jarlsborg cheese on it, added some of Ruby’s homemade salsa, and perhaps a bit of sausage we could bake it for 10 minutes and have a real hit on our hands.
Les Brue Feb 2009




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