Lefse on the griddle
Type Flatbread
Place of origin Norway
Main ingredients

Traditional: potato flour

Variations: milk or cream, flour
Cookbook: Lefse  Media: Lefse
Balls of lefse dough.
Lefse rolling pin
Lefse Stick.

Lefse (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈlɛfsə]) is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread. It is made with leftover potatoes, flour, butter, and milk or cream. It is cooked on a griddle. Special tools are used to prepare lefse, including long wooden turning sticks and special rolling pins with deep grooves. There is another kind of lefse, Tykklefse. The recipe is different and it is often spread with butter, cinnamon and sugar.


A lefse topped with rakfisk served with onion and sour cream.

There are many ways of flavoring lefse. The most common is adding butter to the lefse and rolling it up. In Norway, this is known as "lefse-klenning". Other options include adding cinnamon and/or sugar, or spreading jelly, lingonberries or gomme on it. Scandinavian-American variations include rolling it with a thin layer of peanut butter and sugar, with butter and white or brown sugar, with butter and corn syrup, or with ham and eggs. Also eaten with beef and other savory items like Ribberull and mustard, it is comparable to a tortilla. Lefse is a traditional accompaniment to lutefisk, and the fish is often rolled up in the lefse.


Norwegian tykklefse

There are significant regional variations in Norway in the way lefse is made and eaten, but it generally resembles a flatbread, although in many parts of Norway, especially Valdres, it is far thinner.

Tynnlefse (thin lefse) is a variation made in central Norway. Tynnlefse is rolled up with butter, sugar and cinnamon (or with butter and brown sugar).

Tjukklefse or tykklefse is thicker and often served with coffee as a cake.

Potetlefse (potato lefse) is similar to and used as tynnlefse, but made with potatoes.

Potetkake or Lompe being the "smaller-cousin" of the potato lefse, is often used in place of a hot-dog bun and can be used to roll up sausages. This is also known as pølse med lompe in Norway.

Møsbrømlefse is a variation common to Salten district in Nordland in North Norway. Møsbrømmen consists of half water and half the cheese smooth with flour or corn flour to a half thick sauce that greased the cooled lefse. Lefse is ready when møsbrømmen is warm and the butter is melted.[1]

Nordlandslefse is a chunky small lefse. Made of butter, syrup, sugar, eggs and flour. Originally created in western Norway as a treat to fishermen who were on the Lofoten Fishery.

Anislefse is made on the coast of Hordaland. It resembles thin lefse but is slightly thicker, and it is stained by large amounts of whole aniseed.


Hardanger Lefse

Another variety, the Hardangerlefse (from Hardanger in Norway), is made from yeast-risen Graham flour or a fine ground whole wheat flour (krotekake). The dough is rolled with a conventional rolling pin (and much more flour) until it is thin and does not stick to the surface. It is then cut with a grooved rolling pin in perpendicular directions, cutting a grid into the dough which prevents it from creating air pockets as it cooks. The grid cut can also aid in thinner rolling of the lefse, as the ridges help preserve structural integrity. The lefse is cooked at high temperature (400 °F or 205 °C) until browned, and then left to dry. It can also be freeze dried by repeatedly freezing and thawing.

Dried Hardangerlefse can be stored without refrigeration for six months or more, so long as it is kept dry. It is customarily thought that the bread (along with solefisk) was a staple on the seagoing voyages as far back as Viking times.

The wet lefse is dipped in water, and then placed within a towel which has also been dipped in water and wrung out. Many people maintain that dipping in salted or seawater enhances the flavor. The dry lefse regains its bread-like texture in about 60 minutes. Often that time is used to prepare such ingredients as eggs or herring which are wrapped in the lefse once it has softened.

Lefse in the United States

Lefse is a Scandinavian treat that is especially popular around the holidays. Many Scandinavian-Americans eat lefse primarily around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Family members often gather to cook lefse as a group effort because the process is more enjoyable as a traditional holiday activity. This gathering also provides training to younger generations keeping the tradition alive.

The town of Starbuck, Minnesota, is the home of the world's largest lefse. In some parts of the United States, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, lefse is available in grocery stores. Norsland Lefse, a factory in Rushford, Minnesota, produces about a half million rounds of lefse each year.[2][3][4]

Lefse celebrations and festivals

Lefse is celebrated in cities and towns with large Scandinavian populations. Fargo, North Dakota, hosts the popular Lutefisk and Lefse Festival in August each year. Fosston, Minnesota, invites area lefse makers to compete for the title of Champion Lefse Maker at its Lefse Fest in November.[5] Mankato, Minnesota Natives celebrate lefse day, a day for cooking lefse, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.[6][7][8]

See also


Other sources

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lefse.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/25/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.