Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lefse and Flat Brot

I taught my third class through St Paul Community Ed on making Lefse and Flat brot. I made all of the dough ahead of time because I was not sure if we would run out of time with the addition of the flat brot to the class. As it was we were done with plenty of time to spare so I'm going go through the steps of making the dough during the next class in Feb. I'll still need to use the dough made ahead of time as it needs to chill for several hours. I'll also mix the flour into the dough and make the balls with the students during the class.

I had 6 students, which was lovely. 2 mother/ daughter pairs who were a lot of fun.

We baked up 2 batches of lefse (approx 66 pieces) and 1 batch of flat brot (approx 14 pieces). The flat brot takes a lot longer to bake up, and most of that is spent drying it in the oven.

I had a lovely surprise when I walked into the home ec room at Como as they had remodeled the space over the summer. It was SO nice. It had new stoves, counters, cabinets, steel tables and stools and all the lights worked. Fabulous! Only problem was they had moved the fridge to the other room and the fridge for the kitchen was in a locked space and off limits to me. Fortunately they moved the Spanish class out of the room with the fridge so we could still use it and not interrupt them.

For those interested, here are the recipes that I use.

Lefse, from Irene Thompson Goodoien and Mary Goodoien Pearson
4 cups water
½ c butter (1 stick)
2 tsp salt
1-2 T sugar
1 c. whipping cream
4 c. Betty Crocker© Potato Buds*
2 cups of white flour

Place the water, butter, salt and sugar in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, turn off the burner and remove the pot from the heat and stir in 4 cups Betty Crocker© Potato Buds. Mix until well blended and let rest uncovered for 10 minutes. Mix the whipping cream into the potato mixture and blend until smooth. Spread the mixture evenly in a 9" x 13" glass pan and cover the surface of the potato mixture with plastic wrap. Make sure that you place the plastic wrap down on top of the potato mixture orcondensation will build up on the underside of the film while the potatoes cool and will drip back down making your mixture watery. Place the glass pan into the fridge and let sit for several hours until it is cold.Prepare you rolling space and plug in your griddle once your dough has completely cooled and prior to adding your flour. Divide your pan of potato mixture in half and remove one half and place in a mixing bowl. Using a dough hook mix in 1 cup of the white flour until well blended into the potato mixture. Divide the dough into small balls. I use a 3T size scoop. Once you have divided one half of your dough into balls, mix in another cup of flour to the remaining half of the dough and shape it into balls as you have already done. Place all of the small balls of dough back into the fridge and cover, bringing 2 out at a time to roll. You want your dough as cold as possible to keep it from sticking. Flour your rolling pin and board very well and gently roll out one ball until it is approximately 1/16" in thickness. Use your lefse stick and transfer the dough to your griddle, which should be at 500 degrees. It will take approximately 1 minute on each side to bake your lefse. The finished product will have tan spots across the surface. When one side is done flip it over to cook the other side and remove the finished piece to a towel and cover it to allow it to cool.I stack my lefse as I bake and cover the stack with a towel to let it cool. A batch of lefse can be prepared very quickly if two people work together, one rolling and one turning and baking; although I have done it alone many times and it is not that difficult.
* Do not substitute another brand of potato flakes. This recipe only works with Betty Crocker.

Flat Bröd, Marie Goodoien via Cousin Carol Johnson
Mix the following dry ingredients together:
2 c white flour
1 c corn meal
1 c graham flour (or whole wheat)
1 heaping tsp salt
1 heaping tsp sugar

Place 2 c. of water in a pot and add 1 T of shortening (butter or vegetable) and bring it to a boil. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the boiled water. Mix well and cool until the mixture is fairly cold. The dough will be sticky and you will need a lot of flour when rolling it out. Take a piece of dough roughly the size of a racquetball and roll it out into a very thin circle, as you would lefse. Bake the round on a lefse griddle set at 400 degrees for a couple of minutes each side. You want it brown on both sides. Transfer the browned rounds to an oven set at 225 degrees F to continue baking and dry out the rounds (approx 10-15 minutes). The finished rounds will be crunchy and dry, like a very thin cracker.

Suggested Stores, Web:

Lefse Time: Excellent price on Lefse grills and kits. The lefse starter kit runs $125+ shipping, however it includes a potato ricer, which is not needed when using instant potatoes.

Bethany Housewares: no-frills website that carries all of the Bethany brand equipment. has a small selection of Scandinavian appliances. Does not sell lefse griddle or a wooden lefse turner.


Anonymous said...

That is so cool! This is one of the things on my list of things to try.

- elliesam

Constanza said...

My mom and friends are having the Pre-Thanksgiving Lefse bake tomorrow. It's too bad I can't be there for that. Gotta do that work thing to pay the bills...