Have you stopped to wonder upon the vast amount of flatbreads that seem to run though every culture imaginable? Seriously check out this list on Wikipedia divided by region. Insane! It makes me think I could do an entire blog series about flatbreads from around the world. Hmmm … maybe I should!
Well here seems a good a place as any to begin the quest. Norway. Scandinavia. Lefse.
My mom used to make lefse when we were kids. So good. It might sound weird for a little kid to go nuts for something as odd sounding (though amazingly tasty) as lefse but we weren’t typical. Remember, we were the kids that ate things other than KD and chicken nuggets. I was well into my childhood before having pop for the first time. I think root beer was my first. We rarely had ketchup on things. We ate lentils and barley and turnips. And we had lefse made with leftover mashed potatoes, slathered with butter.
A lot of recipes for lefse call for ricing the potatoes. I would probably recommend it too, except I don’t have a potato ricer and seemed to manage just fine. I still might buy one but for now I just mash up the potatoes nice and smooth. Use a hand mixer if you’re a lousy potato masher.
If you’ve got a craving for lefse and don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, just make sure your fresh mashed potatoes are fully cooled before starting to work in the flours and make the dough.
As for serving lefse, I don’t know what else to do with it other than spread some vegan butter on it while it’s nice and warm, roll it up and enjoy. That’s all we ever did as kids and that’s all I ever want to do with it now. Levi dipped his in ketchup. He’s also spread pb&j on them. Whatever floats your boat.
- 2 cups leftover prepared mashed potatoes (see notes below)
- ¼ cup sorghum flour
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons brown rice flour, plus more for rolling
- ¼ teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
- In a bowl sift together sorghum flour, tapioca starch, 1 tablespoon of brown rice flour and guar gum. Add the remaining brown rice flour, if needed, one teaspoon at a time.
- Add ¼ of the flour mixture at a time to the mashed potatoes, working it in each time, until fully combined.
- Portion out the dough into 2 inch balls - about 8-10 portions.
- Heat a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on your work surface and lightly dust with brown rice flour. Press one dough ball lightly on the floured parchment and flip over and lightly dust with flour. Roll out evenly until very thin - as thin as a flour tortilla.
- Gently transfer the rolled lefse to the skillet by flipping the parchment paper over directly into the skillet.
- Let brown on one side - about 3 minutes - and then gently flip and continue to brown on the other side an additional 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate, covered with a tea towel to keep warm as you continue cooking the rest. (Or eat them as you cook them!)
- Spread vegan margarine on warm lefse, roll up and enjoy!
Do you save your potato water? It’s something my mom used to do – and probably still does – which I never really understood until recently. Starchy potato water works wonders in your homemade bread recipes replacing the liquid. It also works great when making gravy during a family feast, or use it when you’re making a batch of soup that you want to thicken a bit. Consider saving your potato water next time you whip up a batch of mashed potatoes. Just drain the water into a bowl then transfer to a clean jar and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake bread. Of course, if you make mashed potatoes all the time and hardly ever bake bread, you may not want jars of potato water just sitting in your fridge. In that case, freeze it!