Potato Lefse: A versatile Norwegian flatbread that’s super simple to make! Made with potatoes and rolled thin, it’s perfect for the holidays!
This Lefse Recipe is soft and tender and cooks up with the comforting aroma of a buttered baked potato.
Why You’ll love Lefse
- There’s no yeast or proofing involved when making this flatbread recipe.
- It pairs well with both sweet and savory toppings. And it’s made with real potatoes, not instant.
- This lefse recipe is made with real potatoes, not instant.
- It’s a traditional Norwegian Christmas treat for a reason!
- Kitchen Staples – Sugar, Salt
- Potatoes – Russet potatoes work best. Don’t use waxy potatoes.
- Heavy Cream – 36% Butterfat
- Butter – Salted Butter is fine.
How to Make Potato Lefse
- Cook the potatoes, air dry briefly, then rice them.
- Mix butter, cream, sugar, and salt into the potatoes, then park the mixture in the refrigerator overnight, uncovered, to allow the mixture to dry out.
- The next day, add the flour to the doctored-up potatoes (mix with your hands). You’ll know if it has enough flour if you can pinch a piece of the dough between your fingers without it sticking.
- Form the dough into balls, roll, then cook on a griddle.
- Serve warm!
- Many Scandinavians own specialty equipment to make their potato lefse, including grooved rolling pins. A traditional rolling pin works just fine, but it’s more difficult to get an even round of dough using a tapered French version.
- There’s also a lefse stick that looks like a wooden paint stirrer. If you don’t plan to make this bread numerous times a year, I wouldn’t bother purchasing one.
- PRO-Tip: Use Russet potatoes instead of a waxy new or red potato.
- Make sure to rice your potatoes well so your dough is smooth.
- Mix the dough with your hands until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- You’ll know you have added enough flour when you pinch a piece of dough and it doesn’t stick to your skin.
- Take into account that you need to refrigerate your dough uncovered overnight before using.
- Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface so your rounds don’t tear.
- PRO-Tip: Use a non-stick griddle if available. It will make it much easier to flip.
- The dough is delicate, so make sure to cook the first side until the top bubbles and the underside browns, which also will aid with flipping.
Bea Ojakangas’ recipe for this Potato Lefse can be seen here or in the Baking with Julia cookbook.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lefse is a traditional Norwegian flatbread very similar to a thick crepe served during the holidays. It’s rolled thin with a grooved rolling pin and cooked on a griddle and removed with a wooden lefse stick. There are no eggs or yeast in the recipe, and the base is riced potatoes.
Russets work best for lefse as unlike red or new potatoes, they don’t absorb excess water.
Use a potato ricer (affiliate link) which is like a jumbo garlic press. As an alternative, the cooked potatoes can be grated.
No, just use what you have available. I used a griddle-like pan that covers two burners that typically is used to make pancakes. A large skillet or electric griddle will work, too.
If kept airtight, lefse keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen if separated with wax paper and wrapped in plastic. It can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.
It’s best served warm right off the griddle. It can be buttered rolled and served with salt-dried fish or scrambled eggs. It’s also delicious with a sprinkle of sugar or cinnamon sugar, honey, and/or preserves or jam.
They are also used to wrap sausages to make potato lumpa, though I utilized them to wrap my leftover Easter ham.
Pronounce it LEFF-sa.
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A Norwegian potato bread traditionally made for special occasions!
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/2 stick (2 ounces) butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for flouring the work surface and rolling pin
- Cook the potatoes in enough water to cover, about 10 minutes. The potatoes should be fork-tender, but not overcooked.
- Drain the potatoes and spread them out onto a baking dish to dry.
- Rice (or grate) the potatoes into a large bowl.
- Add the butter and stir until it is fully melted.
- Add the cream, sugar, and salt, and stir.
- Refrigerate uncovered overnight.
- When you are ready to make the lefse, prepare a work surface and dust with flour. Place a kitchen towel on your counter.
- Add a cup of flour to the potatoes and mix with your hands. Continue to add flour to the potatoes, one heaping tablespoon at a time, until you have an actual dough, and not just stiff mashed potatoes.
- Divide the dough into 24 balls.
- Heat an ungreased griddle to 450 to 500°.
- Roll a dough ball out to a very thin pancake, using flour to dust the surface as needed.
- Place it onto the griddle. Cook for one to two minutes, and then flip it over to cook the other side.
- Place the lefse onto the towel and cover with part of the towel.
- Serve warm with butter, sugar, or cinnamon sugar. Jam and preserves work well, too.
- Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months.
Recipe from Baking with Julia.
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Serving Size:2 lefse
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 137mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g
43 Comments on “Potato Lefse”
Thanks for sharing these with us Liz – I’ve never had these before but they look delicious!
I would love these. I enjoy potato bread and potatoes keep recipes moist and prevent breads from getting hard.
I had to go through and double check I haven’t already commented on these I must have seen them on google, they look amazing! Pinning these for later!
I am always in the mood to try a new flatbread!
I’ve been wanting to try Potato Lefse – these look so tasty! My heritage is Norwegian/German/Swedish so its about time I learn to make them.
I also thought it was a tortilla. I’m also a card carrying member of the starchy carb club and I would love these!
That goes to show that every nationality has their version of the same thing…looks like rôti but could be a fajita shell or even a crêpe (perhaps a little thicker than a crêpe!)! I find it rather interesting that they put potato into the dough and I suspect it is what makes it soft and sweet but is it chewy too? I have potatoes left over from Easter and because we generally don’t eat potatoes they were heading into our green garbage (I know, shame on me, but there aren’t too many folks I know who regularly eat potatoes anymore)…you’ve given them a new life Liz, I’m bookmarking to try on the weekend. XOXO
Thanks for introducing me to something new, Liz! These look so delicious and perfect for spring and summer picnics.
Potato Lefse is new to me! Or at least I’ve forgotten it — I have the Baking With Julisa cookbook, so I’m sure I’ve seen it. I’ll definitely be going back to look at the recipe — these look so terrific! Thanks so much.
That looks really tasty.
Wow how interesting! I wonder if you can use sweet potatoes for this?!
I’ve never had these before – thanks for introducing something new to try.
I’ve never heard of these but from the ingredients list it sounds like making gnocchi. But it’s not pasta, it’s bread! Looking at the bread, it’s hard to imagine that it’s made from potatoes. I think it’s great that the bread turns out to be so versatile and what a great way to use up your Easter ham! xx
Hadn’t even heard of Lefse, Liz. Reminds me of potato pancakes that we have in Scotland. Ah, potatoes and the North! Simple yet a refreshing change and a handy recipe to have up your sleeve if you’ve run out of eggs. Should try this out and surprise hubby with alternative crêpes!
When I first saw the picture, I thought these were normal flour tortillas haha 🙂 They sound really yummy- probably because I love potato! Might give these a try instead of my normal flour tortillas for my lunch wraps (they were getting boring anyway haha)! 😀
It is amazing how different kitchens have similar food! That shows that humans irrespectively of their culture or place have the same needs and make the same things to fulfill them. These are delicious wraps Liz very appetizing and filling!
New to me! But I’m always interested in new ways to wrap my food! They look delicious, Liz! 🙂 ela
These potato wraps look filling and delicious!
It looks like a potato taco!
I have never heard of the bread either. But I love flat breads and anything made with potatoes. Thanks for the introduction and for sharing, Lizzy!:)