Monday, April 7, 2014

TWD: Baking with Julia - Potato Lefse

This post was supposed to happen last week.  However I just didn't get around to making the recipe until this past weekend, so I decided I'd post my Tuesday's with Dorie week as soon as I got to it, and not stress out about the whole thing.  No need for extra stress!
Anyway, the recipe was Potato Lefse.  Have any clue what that is?  Don't worry, I didn't either.  Essentially, a potato lefse is what you get when mashed potatoes and crepes get together and have a baby.  You get a potato crepe.  Now, I am not a huge fan of crepes.  That is not a good thing in my house as my daughter loves them and my husband enjoys making them for her.  I just find them to be a bit too sweet in the morning (of course all of the fillings is what makes it sweet) and there is something about the texture that I don't like.  It all comes down to the fact than when I was a little girl I happened to get ill one day that I happened to make crepes for breakfast.   Take that in whatever direction you care, and you'll understand, I am certain. 
I have to admit, I find potato lefse to be highly superior to crepes, but they take MUCH more time.  As in you have to make the mashed potato mixture and then let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.  That's a lot of pre-planning.  They are also way, way, WAY messier, as instead of pouring batter (as in crepes) you are rolling dough (like a pie crust).  You could get all fancy here and buy some SPECIFIC lefse tools for this, but I did not.  Instead of having an official lefse canvas round, grooved rolling pin, and lefse stick, I used a silpat, rolling pin, and spatula.  I think it all worked out fine.
I did, however, take this as a great reason to purchase a potato ricer.  I mean, the book even says that it is an "old fashioned, inexpensive, effective utensil".  Obviously  I needed one.  I am certain I could have made these by making sure I mashed the heck out of the potatoes so there were no lumps, but I agree with the book, a ricer is a tool that I won't regret.  Plus it was super inexpensive. And since I was already late in making the potato lefse for the TWD post, why not just order a ricer and get on with it??  Yee-ha, Amazon Prime!  I mean, is there anything you can't find on Amazon these days?  I love shopping without leaving my house.  That is the perfect shopping experience. 
But I digress.  Here is the lowdown on making potato lefse:

First  you boil some diced potatoes until they are soft but not mushy, then set them out to dry a bit.  I am not sure why this picture looks like cheddar cheese, but trust me, it is actually diced potato.

Next rice those potatoes into a bowl. See my new ricer?  Very pretty, isn't she?  It totally reminds me of those things I used to use with play-doh to squish out "spaghetti" or "hair".  You could probably actually use that play-doh gadget, but it sure would take a while since it is so small! 

Mix in some melted butter, heavy cream, sugar and salt, get it all smooth and stick it in the refrigerator so it dries out overnight.

In the morning, mix in some flour and get ready to make a giant mess.  Well, at least it was at my house.  This needs TONS of flour on the rolling board and pin or else it sticks, thus I had flour everywhere.  Ah, well.  Roll a small portion out into a super thin sort of circle shape (mine were totally NOT circles, more like abstract blobs), roll it onto the rolling pin, and then place on a hot griddle.  I used my pancake griddle, which stretches over two burners, so I was able to cook two lefse at once.  Cook it like a pancake and then off it goes, onto a terry cloth towel.

Serve these warm, brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  Mmmm.  According to the recipe, you could also put a hotdog inside and brush then with butter and mustard.  Then they are called potato lumpa.  I did the cinnamon sugar kind and it was very nice.  It has more oomph than a regular crepe, and a way better texture.  They are kind of like fresh flour tortillas...mmmm.  The next time you have some mashed potato leftovers, keep this recipe in mind.  They take a bit of work but they are quite nice!  Oh, and in case you have a tiny person at your house, the clever baby enjoyed these as well!

You can find the recipe on pages 165-166 of Baking with Julia, or here.  Check out what my fellow TWD bakers thought by visiting the TWD blog.  


  1. Love your new Play-doh potato masher :) Glad to hear that everyone has enjoyed the lefse!

  2. I wasn't able to make these this week, but yours turned out fantastic looking!

  3. Your post makes me want to make these. Yummy! Now, if I could just find some time.

  4. Looks good! I enjoyed these a lot with the butter/cinnamon sugar filling. We also used them as a sandwich wrap. Pretty tasty.


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