Try Lefse, The Recycled Potato Bread

Lefse potato bread is simple to make, forgiving of mistakes, versatile, and delicious.

| September/October 1978

When I feel too dragged-out to face the chore of my weekly bread-bake—or when the family seems in need of a little variety—I whip up a great big batch of lefse (pronounced lef-sa), an easy-to-make Scandinavian potato bread.

Lefse is similar in appearance and texture to the Mexican tortilla. Both are all-purpose foods that can be eaten hot or cold, with butter or most any filling, and by themselves or as a "sop-up" for gravies and soups. But unlike the tortilla, lefse's primary ingredient is leftover mashed potatoes!

The basic recipe for the flat bread goes like this:

1 gallon cold, well mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups whole wheat or unbleached white flour

Lefse dough, however, does take to modification so kindly that there's nothing "engraved in stone" about this formula. I usually just make up lots of extra potatoes, add "a little" salt and butter, and mix in enough flour to make a soft, rollable (but not sticky) lump. (A Norwegian friend told me that a good lefse dough should be of the same consistency as an ear lobe! )

If you want to be "traditional," you can roll out a cupful of dough until it's 1/8 of an inch thick, and then cut individual "patties" from it.

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