Step 1: Boiling
Peel and cut potatoes in half and then quarters. Place potatoes into a large pot of salted water and boil until fork-tender. (You should be able to pierce potatoes with a fork easily.) If you're looking to make a small batch of lefse, 1.5 lb to 2 lb of potatoes will give you approximately 4 cups of riced potatoes. If there are any potatoes left over, why not just have them with your supper?
Step 2: Ricing
When potatoes are done boiling, drain into a large colander. Be sure they are well drained. You can rice the potatoes into the empty pot you used for boiling to avoid washing more dishes. Rice all your potatoes and then measure out 4 cups (lightly packed) into another large bowl. Donít waste a lot of time here, your potatoes need to be warm to melt butter in the next step.
Step 3: Cooling
To your 4 cups of riced potatoes, add 1/4 cup butter in pats so it melts in evenly. Stir a few times to get the butter mixed in well, then set your potatoes aside to cool completely. The potatoes need to be cooled to at least room temperature. If you are on a time schedule, place your bowl of potatoes into the refrigerator to speed up this process.
Step 4: Mixing
When your potatoes are cooled, mix in whipping cream, salt, sugar and flour. Stir until all the flour is mixed in evenly. Then knead (like bread dough) 10 times.
Step 5: Patties
Depending how big you want your sheets correlates to the size of patties. 1/3 cup lefse dough equals a 12 inch round approximately. This gives you a nice, not too thick, not too thin sheet of lefse. But if you like your sheets bigger, roll it more or make bigger patties. We do suggest using a measuring cup so that your sheets are fairly consistent in size. Measure out your potatoes to a tray or cookie sheet and form into patties, just like a hamburger patty. To prevent cracking on the edges of your sheet when rolling, be sure the edges on your patties are nice and smooth. Let the patties rest for 5 minutes before rolling. While your patties are resting, turn your lefse griddle on and set control to 500 degrees.
Step 6: Rolling
Preparation is the key to success with rolling. Round pastry boards are great for rolling lefse. They have size guides to indicate how large your sheets are, and can be a great guide to round sheets. Prep your pastry board by spreading out about 1 cup of flour into a circle just a bit bigger than the sheet of lefse you intend to roll. Rub the flour in thoroughly to your pastry cloth. You will need to lightly sprinkle flour onto your pastry board between each sheet, paying special attention to the center as it tends to build up the most moisture and could cause sticking. A flour dredger is a very handy tool for that step.
Prep your rolling pin by working flour into every groove of your pin. This can be sped up by rolling your pin directly into flour, ex. place a cup of flour onto your pastry board and roll your pin back and forth through the flour. Be sure to rub flour in on any missing spots. You can also use a rolling pin cover; it functions the same as a pastry cloth when prepped with enough flour.
To begin rolling, place your patty down at the center and gently roll forward and back so that your patty becomes a small oval. Then either rotate your board slightly or change your angle and roll forward and back. Continue rotating or switching your angles so that you keep your lefse round and until you have achieved the size of lefse youíd like. Of course, there is no rule that says your sheets have to be round, ovals taste just the same!
Step 7: Transfer
Time to grab the lefse stick so you can transfer from the pastry cloth to the lefse grill. Generally you can just attack the sheet right down the middle and gently lift up. Others like to flip a little bit of the side of the sheet over the stick and roll in a couple turns and then lift up. The only caution I give here is to lift cautiously because you can spoil your hard rolling efforts very quickly, especially if there is a sticky spot. Once the sheet is off the board, move quickly to the lefse grill. You need to get the whole sheet down as soon as possible for a nice even cook. For good placement on the grill with large lefse sheets, try to line up the edge of your lefse sheet close to the edge of the grill.
Step 8: Cooking
Youíll want to cook the first side 30 seconds, give or take. Itís best to just watch for your cues. Your sheet should bubble up and when you sneak a peek under the edge there should be light golden brown spots. That means itís time to flip. Run your lefse stick down the middle, lift and turn over. Cook the second side until you see the same signs. The second side will cook considerably faster than the first side. From there simply transfer your lefse to lefse cozies or a nice clean towel.
Let about 10 to 12 sheets stack, cover with a cozy or towel, then set them aside to cool. If you see that your sheets have a bit too much flour, wait until cooled and dust off. Wipe off excess flour on your lefse grill with a dry cloth to avoid burnt flour on your sheets.
When your lefse is completely cooled, fold in half, then half again and store in zip-top freezer bags. They will keep in the freezer for 6 months or more.
In 2001 Ellert and Edith made 4,000 rounds of lefse for selling and giving away. They charged $0.75 for 1 round of lefse.
This was one of the last years they were able to make lefse. They did bake-give away and sell for several years ...What a team!!
*note from Jackie:
This is not the recipe Aunt Edith and Uncle Ellert used for their "Famous Lefse". This is an example of another good lefse recipe, but I'm sure it would not be as good nor created with the same amount of love as their recipe. Thank you so much for contributing this picture to the cookbook, Elaine!