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Subject: Re: Lefse (was: Potato Ricer)
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: Diane Feder 
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 15:00:14 GMT
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Karen O'Mara wrote:
> Potato ricers are great! Plain riced potatoes are a nice change from mashed...
> doesn't break down the glutens (or whatever it is.) Leftover riced potatoes
> makes the best lefse, btw.

Karen, you've mentioned "lefse" in two postings today.  What is it?  I'm
pretty sure I've never heard the word, and I couldn't find it on Epicurious.

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From: Denise~* 
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 15:34:05 -0700
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Diane Feder wrote:
>Karen, you've mentioned "lefse" in two postings today.  What is it?  I'm
>pretty sure I've never heard the word, and I couldn't find it on Epicurious.

Scandinavian Bread.  Mostly used as a dessert with Coffee or Tea.  
It is very thin & you typically spread butter & cinnamon sugar on it.
I make a different Lefse with flour (& lemon juice) instead of potato.
Very yummy!

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From: Diane Feder 
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 00:04:42 GMT
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Denise~* wrote:
> Scandinavian Bread.  Mostly used as a dessert with Coffee or Tea.
> It is very thin & you typically spread butter & cinnamon sugar on it.
> I make a different Lefse with flour (& lemon juice) instead of potato.

Thanks, Denise.  Even more embarrassing that I've never heard of it.  I'm
half Scandinavian.

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From: Karen O'Mara 
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 18:49:42 -0700
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Denise~* wrote:
> Scandinavian Bread.  Mostly used as a dessert with Coffee or Tea.
> It is very thin & you typically spread butter & cinnamon sugar on it.
> I make a different Lefse with flour (& lemon juice) instead of potato.

Lefse made without potato? That's like a corn tortilla made without corn....

Or a flour tortilla, perhaps.

Lemon juice is interesting... do you taste the lemon very much? Curious, what part of the US
or world has this cultural variation on lefse, Denise? Are you on the East Coast somewhere,
perhaps?

to me, lefse is made with potatoes (leftover mashed or riced, very plain), white flour and
something like crisco (iirc) and salt and milk, too. You roll it in a ball and flatten with a
stick and cook it on a lefse griddle without grease and turn it with a lefse stick (wooden
spatula with a rounded tip) when it browns. Lefse looks like a flour tortilla only with a
little more substance or density or something.

Fold into fourths and store in a cool dry place. Lefse is eaten like Denise said more
typically in the U.S. with the cinnamon sugar, or even brown sugar, and not Norway so much
with the sugary stuff, nor is really a dessert there, either. Lefse is eaten with butter, or
a little geitost, or even wrapped around a sausage or hot dog. When freshly made, lefse is
good just plain bit with a little butter than melts into the just-off-the-stove lefse, it's
pretty delicious.

============================

From: Denise~* 
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 00:35:22 -0700
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Karen O'Mara wrote:
>Lefse made without potato? That's like a corn tortilla made without corn....
>Or a flour tortilla, perhaps.

I live in WA State.  I was told that my Great-grandmother used to make
the flour lefse. She didn't use a griddle either, she used a stove
(now antique)  in her basement.  She grew up in Alesund, Norway &
immigrated in the 20's.

Here is the recipe I use, but I don't think it's the same one my GG-ma
used.

2 Cups Canned Milk
Juice of 2 reg size Lemons
1 Cup Sugar
Pinch Salt
tsp baking soda
enough Flour to make dough stiff enough to handle (approx 5-1/2 Cups)

I have found using a Kitchenaid with a dough hook makes the dough much
easier to mix & then roll our afterward.  The first few times I made
this I had to mix it by hand & it was very tough to roll afterward.

Cool 2 hours or Overnight (spray bowl first with pam & sprinkle flour
in order to keep dough from sticking excessively to the bowl.

I suggest using a rolling cloth & rolling pin cover, because the dough
is fairly sticky.  When you have taken out a chunk (1 to 2 cups),
immediately put bowl of dough back into the refrigerator to keep cool,
once it warms up it gets even more sticky.

Roll out very thin (approx 1/8" to 3/16") and cut into squares with
pizza cutter.  bake for 5 to 6  minutes at a high heat of around 400
to 450, they should get light brown in places, but not burned.  take
cookie sheet out of oven once most of them have gotten "browned", push
air bubbles out with spatula & allow to cool on a cookie sheet.  The
ones that do not look cooked enough, can go back into the oven for 1
to 2 minutes more.  I have also found using a pre-heated baking stone
instead of cookie sheets works very nice, cooks much quicker, and less
"browning" occurs.

Let cool completely on rack

To Serve:

Dampen some clean *thin* kitchen towels with luke warm water & layer
the Lefsers between the layers of moist towels (not "wet", just moist)

When the lefser has moistened and is soft, spread softened (room
temperature) REAL butter on them & sprinkle Cinnamon & Sugar on top.

============================

From: MH 
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 14:24:10 GMT
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>Lefse made without potato? That's like a corn tortilla made without
corn....

It is not lefse without potato.

> I live in WA State.  I was told that my Great-grandmother used to make
> the flour lefse.

There is no such thing. Without potato, it is not lefse.

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From: Denise~* 
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 09:57:11 -0700
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MH wrote:
>> I live in WA State.  I was told that my Great-grandmother used to make
>> the flour lefse.
>
>There is no such thing. Without potato, it is not lefse.

Look in a Sons of Norway cookbook someday. You will be surprised.

============================

From: Karen O'Mara 
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 20:48:05 -0700
--------
Denise~* wrote:
> Look in a Sons of Norway cookbook someday. You will be surprised.

I think lefse without potato is "lumpe," actually.. when I think about it. (If not, what is
lumpe?... I remember that word from when I lived in Norway and well, I am not sure... iirc,
it was sorta kinda like lefse only different.)

Denise, you aren't near Ballard, are you? I have never seen lefse without potato and with
lemon in Ballard.

I'll ask on the Nordic newsgroup....

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From: ginnysher[at]mediaone.net (Ginny Sher)
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 13:40:20 GMT
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>I think lefse without potato is "lumpe," actually.. 

"Lumpe" is how my potatoes come out when I don't use a ricer ;-)

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From: Denise~* 
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 23:31:13 -0700
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Karen O'Mara wrote:
>Denise, you aren't near Ballard, are you? I have never seen lefse without potato and with
>lemon in Ballard.

I grew up in Tacoma, and now live in Bremerton.  My G-Gma was from
Alesund.

>I'll ask on the Nordic newsgroup....

I dunno, but I have a Sons of Norway cookbook with Potato, White Flour
and Rye Lefse.

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From: Diane Feder 
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 05:18:47 GMT
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Now I have a quest.  I'll be in Minneapolis in a couple of weeks.  Karen
mentioned the airport.  Any other suggestions for places to go to try lefse,
(in case I don't happen to be hungry when the plane lands)?

============================

From: sd 
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 07:25:11 -0500
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Diane Feder wrote:
> Now I have a quest.  I'll be in Minneapolis in a couple of weeks.  Karen
> mentioned the airport.  Any other suggestions for places to go to try 
> lefse,

There are a couple of Scandinavian restaurants in town (far fewer than 
one might expect, but there you are). The most likely place I can think 
of is King Oscar's Restaurant in Richfield (1120 E 66 St), which is 
close to the airport anyway. Never having been there, though, I'm not 
sure they serve lefse. I'd be a little surprised that they didn't.

Personally, I think it's almost as easy to go to a supermarket, buy some 
lefse, butter, and cinnamon sugar (optional) and enjoy. Byerly's, 
Lund's, and Kowalski's are probably the nicest supermarkets around here. 
If you want to go to a showcase supermarket, visit the Byerly's in St. 
Louis Park. Byerly's gets written up all the time in supermarket trade 
mags for their level of retailing (and, no, I have no relationship with 
them, and don't even shop there that often 'cuz I'm at the co-op 
instead).

Enjoy!

============================

From: Diane Feder 
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 05:05:10 GMT
--------
sd wrote:
> Personally, I think it's almost as easy to go to a supermarket, buy some
> lefse, butter, and cinnamon sugar (optional) and enjoy. Byerly's,
> Lund's, and Kowalski's are probably the nicest supermarkets around here.
> If you want to go to a showcase supermarket, visit the Byerly's in St.
> Louis Park.

Thanks.  I remember buying wild rice in Byerly's, but I don't know if it was
the one in St. Louis Park.  I would have bought some lefse if I knew it
existed.  This time I will.

============================

From: Karen O'Mara 
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 08:57:52 -0700
--------
Diane Feder wrote:
> Now I have a quest.  I'll be in Minneapolis in a couple of weeks.  Karen
> mentioned the airport.  Any other suggestions for places to go to try lefse,

Don't know Minneapolis very well, as I was just passing through from Minot
("Why not, Minot? The reason is freezin'." have you seen the bumper sticker?)
But, like Minot or heck, even little Bottineau, North Dakota, lefse is probably
stocked in most grocery stores.

Was disappointed to hear the Scandinavian store at that Mall of America in the
Twin Cities closed, btw. What on earth is up with that?

============================

From: Diane Feder 
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 05:00:15 GMT
--------
Karen O'Mara wrote:
> Don't know Minneapolis very well, as I was just passing through from Minot
> ("Why not, Minot? The reason is freezin'." have you seen the bumper sticker?)

I did it the other way once.  Flew from Minneapolis to Minot and drove back.
Never saw that bumper sticker, but I did see a LOT of wheat!  Do you live in
Minot?

============================

From: Karen O'Mara 
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 09:47:55 -0700
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Diane Feder wrote:
> I did it the other way once.  Flew from Minneapolis to Minot and drove back.
> Never saw that bumper sticker, but I did see a LOT of wheat!  Do you live in
> Minot?

No, I was born and raised in Calif., live near San Jose, Calif. now, but my mom
was originally from ND, althought moved to Calif. when she was a teen, but we
always spend as much of the summertimes in NDak (fly into Minot and drive to
Metigoshe...) because we love it there so much....

============================

From: Damsel in dis Dress 
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 17:03:53 GMT
--------
Karen O'Mara wrote:
>(fly into Minot and drive to
>Metigoshe...) because we love it there so much....

My aunt and uncle lived in Minot and summered on Metigoshe for years.  Now
my aunt lives on Metigoshe.  Small world!

Damsel, who realizes that no one cares about this

============================

From: Sandy Dykes 
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 09:52:07 -0400
--------
Denise~* wrote:
> It is very thin & you typically spread butter & cinnamon sugar on it.
> I make a different Lefse with flour (& lemon juice) instead of potato.

Just wondering, how do you pronounce "Lefse"?  I'm not at all familiar with Scandanavian
languages.  The bread sounds delicious.

============================

From: MH 
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 14:24:53 GMT
--------
Sandy Dykes wrote:
> Just wondering, how do you pronounce "Lefse"?  I'm not at all familiar with Scandanavian
> languages. 

lef (as in 'left')-suh

============================

From: decaro[at]ohsu.edu (Marcia DeCaro)
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 23:17:39 GMT
--------
Diane Feder wrote:
>Karen, you've mentioned "lefse" in two postings today.  What is it?  I'm
>pretty sure I've never heard the word, and I couldn't find it on Epicurious.

Think of it as a scandinavian tortilla with the main ingredient potato.

============================

Subject: Re: Lefse Recipe (was: Potato Ricer)
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

============================

From: gloria p 
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 02:12:55 GMT
--------
Karen O'Mara wrote:
>  When freshly made, lefse is
> good just plain bit with a little butter than melts into the just-off-the-stove lefse, it's
> pretty delicious.

I have to agree with Karen.  It's the tastiest of all flatbreads, IMHO.
Here's a recipe from my desktop file:

Lefse - Norway

2 pounds potatoes, peeled, diced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 to 2 cups flour

Cook potatoes in enough to cover until tender but not mushy, about 20 
minutes. Drain, reserving potato water for bread or soup. Press cooked 
potatoes through potato ricer or grater. Thre will be about 3 1/3 cups 
riced potatoes.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, salt and butter. Cool to room temp.
Stir in flour until a stiff dough forms. Divide dough into 4 equal
portions. Divide each 4 equal portions into fourths. You'll have 16 pieces
of dough total. 

Preheat griddle to 400 degrees F.

On a lightly floured board, roll out 1 piece of dough at a time until 
paper-thin 10 to 11-inch circle. Use a grooved Lefse rolling pin to get 
authentic grid-like texture. Bake dough on preheated griddle, 1 to 2
minutes on each side until browned in spots.

Lefse will look dry, but will be flexible, not crisp. Fold in half, then in
half again. Stack on a piece of waxed paper as they are baked. Repeat with
remaining pieces of dough. To serve, unfold and spread with butter. To
freeze, wrap airtight; store in freezer. Thaw in wrapper. Makes 16 lefse.

From: Scandinavian Cooking


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