According to our Guide to Scandinavian Food, "Perhaps no food is more beloved by Norwegians than potato lefse. This paper-thin potato bread is best served warm with butter and sugar."
Lefse making is a learned skill and cooks use special tools to prepare it. Most often a large, electric round griddle is used along with a special rolling pin and a long stick used to lift and place the thin-rolled lefse on a hot griddle.
Our gluten-free lefse is made like traditional lefse, complete with riced potatoes but we used gluten-free all purpose flour mix, Jules Gluten-Free for this recipe, instead of wheat flour. Our lefse stayed pliable and was delicious!
This recipe was adapted to gluten-free diets from two recipes, one by our Guide to Scandinavian Food called Basic Lefse and another recipe for lefse published in the Immanuel Lutheran Church Cookbook, Immanuel Cookery.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chill potato mixture overnight: 12 hours
Total Time: 14 hours
Yield: About 12 9-inch lefse rounds
- 4 cups riced russet potatoes (about 2 pounds of russet potatoes - russets work better than other potatoes for making lefse!)
- 2 tablespoons Spectrum brand vegetable shortening
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
- 1 tablespoon cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 cups of gluten-free all purpose flour (I used Jules All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour in this recipe with good results. This product contains Expandex (modified tapioca starch, potato starch, corn starch, corn flour, white rice flour, xanthan gum)
Preheat oven to 175º.
Peel about 3 large russet potatoes - about 2 pounds. Cut potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Boil until tender and drain. Spread cooked potatoes on a baking sheet in one layer and place in preheated oven for 15 minutes. This helps remove moisture from the potatoes.
Use a ricer to prepare cooked potatoes. You should end up with about 4 cups of riced potatoes.
Place shortening, butter, cream or milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan and heat over medium low just until shortening and butter melts and sugar is dissolved. Don't let the mixture boil. Pour liquid over riced potatoes and use a large spoon or spatula to thoroughly combine ingredients. Potatoes should be smooth and thick.
Pack the potatoes in an airtight bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat a 10-inch to 12-inch round stove top griddle or an electric lefse griddle to 425º. Use your hands or a pastry blender to work gluten-free flour gradually into chilled potatoes. Turn the lefse dough onto a large pastry cloth liberally dusted with all purpose gluten-free flour. Knead in just enough gluten-free flour to form a smooth and pliable dough.
Our Guide to Scandinavian Food says,"Pinch off pieces of dough about the size of a biscuit (an ice-cream scoop works well for this). Using a rolling pin with a well-floured sleeve and a floured pastry cloth or board, roll out each piece into a 12-unch circle. [I used a cast iron 10-inch stove top griddle to grill my lefse and rolled each piece about 9-inches round.]
"Carefully lift the circle with a lefse stick and transfer quickly to the griddle. Bake until brown spots begin to appear; flip and grill the other side. Cool between clean cloths, then serve with butter and sugar."
Lefse can be frozen for up to six months. Traditional recipes for lefse call for the cooked and cooled rounds to be folded into quarters, but gluten-free lefse keeps best when stored flat and sealed in zip-top freezer bags. Defrost and reheat before serving.
Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.