Lefse is a Norwegian flatbread made with potatoes, cream, and a whole lot of care. Prepared and eaten at holiday gatherings, the tender bread requires finesse, experience, and many hands on deck to make properly. But, much like making homemade tortillas, the time and effort is worth it. Amy Thielen's recipe in The New Midwestern Table is a fine guideline for those wanting to dip their toes into lefse cookery. Her directions are clear, specific, and helpful. And even if your lefse is on the thick side, or if it never forms perfect circles, it'll still be a wonderful new bread to bring to your dinner table.
Why I picked this recipe: I have a Norwegian friend who could talk for days about lefse, and after all that talk I couldn't wait to try making my own.
What worked: These lefse were some of the best-tasting things to come out my kitchen this fall—regardless of the imperfections in my first attempts.
What didn't: Be sure to flour your counter thoroughly. The lefse will stick at pretty much any opportunity.
Suggested tweaks: If you don't own a potato ricer, you can approximate the texture by using a box grater. Just be sure to remove any errant lumps before mixing the dough. If you don't have a griddle, you can cook the lefse in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. There are specific lefse-making tools that can be found online and in stores in heavily Scandinavian areas of the country. If you want to make lefse part of your life, consider buying a lefse stick (to use instead of a spatula), a cloth-covered lefse board, and a cloth-covered lefse rolling pin.
About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.