Holiday Baking: Lefse

Lefse is a Scandinavian flat bread made from potatoes and flour. Every holiday of my childhood included home made lefse and butter (and sometimes sugar, and the "sugar on lefse" debate is as foreign to non-Scandinavians as the dish itself). It's one of those traditional recipes that is learned by doing. I learned from my mother, who learned from her Norwegian mother-in-law. She learned how to make it on the cast iron top of the old farm cook stove on my father's farm. She taught me using a cast iron skillet in our old house on Quincy Street, the same skillet we now use to teach my nieces in her condo.

Ingredients: Potatoes, milk and flour.

Start with mashed potatoes.

Add all-purpose flour.

Knead the dough until it is similar to soft bread dough.

Do not over-work the dough or it will get tough.

Shape the dough into small balls

about the size of ping pong balls.

Flatten the ball onto a floured surface.

Roll each ball into a thin sheet using a lefse rolling pin.

Use a long, narrow spatula to gently lift.

Gently shake off excess flour.

Cook on a dry cast iron skillet,

flipping when air bubbles appear.

As one sheet is cooking, roll out the next one.

It works best if one person rolls and one person cooks.

Scrape flour build up off the skillet between sheets.

Layer cooked lefse on a plate to cool.

Use the edge of the spatula to clean the rolling pin.

Finished lefse.

When cooled, layer with waxed paper to store.