Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe is a traditional flatbread. (2024)

Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa will add to any festive meal. Lefsa are little bites of heaven. Many seem to think that lefsa is similar to a tortilla. However, it is only because it is a flatbread. Indeed, you are privileged if you get a piece warm off the grill. Top with butter that melts into it and cinnamon sugar. Consequently, this was probably the first bread that the Vikings ever ate. Do you love Scandinavian cuisine? Then you must try gluten-free Norwegian Lefsa! This traditional flatbread is a holiday favorite in Norway, and now it can be made with a gluten-free twist – giving everyone the chance to enjoy the full delicious flavor. So if you’re ready to delight your taste buds, let’s get started on making your own gluten-free Norwegian Lefsa!Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe is a traditional flatbread. (1)

Holiday Customs, Culture, and Traditions:

Needless to say, I am excited to have most of my Scandinavian traditional foods. Normally I make a traditional Swedish Julbord (Swedish Christmas Smorgasbord) with some adjustments for a small family.

In any case, my mother is from Sweden. My husband’s mother is a full-blooded Norwegian. Therefore, both my husband and I grew up eating traditional Scandinavian food. This means my kids grew up eating it as well. Not to mention, my husband’s Norwegian grandmother lived to be over 100 years old. She made Lefsa all the time.

What is Lefsa you ask? It is a traditional Norwegian flatbread made with riced potatoes and flour.

Norwegian Lefsa History:

If you are of Scandinavian descent then you already know what Lefsa is and it is a part of every holiday menu. Norwegians and Swedes alike enjoy eating lefsa. Needless to say, Scandinavians in the United States have this at all their holiday such as Thanksgiving, Sankta Lucia, and Christmas. Therefore, the most popular places to purchase premade Lefsa in the USA are Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.

Lefsa recipes are heirloom recipes in Scandinavian families and are handed down from generation to generation. Many of these recipes are hundreds of years old.

My Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa

I wish I could tell you that it was easier than the white flour version. If you have never made Lefsa before it is not for the faint of heart. Lefsa is very frustrating to make as it often sticks or tears and then has to be rerolled, sometimes again and again.

Making Lefsa is a lot of work and tradition. But eating fresh Lefsa off of a warm griddle with butter melting as cinnamon sugar collides with the butter is a decadent treat. Of course, everyone wants a piece of lefsa right off the griddle.

Scandinavian Debate How to Eat Norwegian Lefsa:

There are some who say that lefsa goes back to Viking times. However, I could not find any evidence or articles to support that claim. Norwegian immigrants brought it to the States where it is still made the traditional way sometimes from recipes that are hundreds of years old. Originally it was made on hot iron griddles. Today there are electric griddles and that is what I use.

There seems to be a debate on how to eat Lefsa. Most Norwegians prefer Lefsa with a smear of butter and a little sugar. However, if going refined sugar-free might I suggest a little sprinkling of monk fruit sweetener? Swedes, on the other hand, prefer to eat Lefsa with cinnamon sugar. Hence the Great Lefsa debate simple sugar or cinnamon sugar. By the way, these are the traditional ways to eat lefsa. You can serve lefsa as an appetizer.

In Conclusion:

At the end of the day, gluten-free Norwegian lefsa is proving to be an important part of the traditional holiday season for many families. It’s a delicious, flavorful recipe that holds a special place in the memories of many Norwegians. Gluten-free lefsa is becoming much more accessible, with new production methods and ingredients allowing it to be made in an easier, more affordable way. Offering an important connection between past and present, this timeless traditional dish doesn’t just satisfy the palate – it satisfies the soul. As the Norwegians would say, “Skål!”

Equipment Needed For Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa:

Making Traditional lefsa requires Norwegian tools. Norwegian traditional tools are a potato masher ricer, a cloth-covered pastry board with a removable cloth that you can wash, a Lefsa rolling pin with grooves around it, a painted Lefsa stick and I use an electric Lefsa griddle.Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe is a traditional flatbread. (2)Nevertheless, this dough still sticks to the Lefsa rolling pin just not as bad as with regular flour. In fact, I did find that clean-up was a little easier with the grain-free version. I did have a harder time getting my lefsa into a circle. Please only use Swan Potato Flour in this recipe as not all potato flours are the same.

Special Equipment

Nutritional Facts are for 30 pieces and listed below and do not include butter and sugar or cinnamon sugar. Read my blog on Cassava Flour Information.

Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa

Ingredients:

Directions For Cooking Potatoes:

Peel and cut up about large potatoes. Cook potatoes with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork. Important to not overcook the potatoes. Drain potatoes right away so they won’t soak up any more water.

*Note (You may want to keep potato water for gravies or soups.)

Directions For Ricing Potatoes:

Allow potatoes to cool slightly. Use two containers to rice the potatoes into. One to rice potatoes while still warm into the first bowl. Next, rice potatoes again into the second bowl. Rice potatoes 3 – 4 times for the fluffiest potatoes. Place the potatoes into the fridge until cold.

Next, add cream, butter, and salt, to the riced potatoes and combine until a dough is formed. As soon as it is cooled add the cassava flour and potato flour. Once combined thoroughly divide into balls. Knead each ball for about 1 minute. Next, make balls out of the dough approximately 4 oz. I ended up with 30.Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe is a traditional flatbread. (3)

Directions For Making Lefsa:

Get the Lefsa rolling pin and Lefsa stick. First, preheat the Lefsa Electric Griddle to around 350 F and 450F. Using a Lefsa board with a removable pastry cloth prep it by lightly flouring it with extra potato flour or cassava flour. Next, use the Lefsa Rolling Pin and roll out each Lefsa ball into a thin round of about 8 – 10 inches around.Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe is a traditional flatbread. (4) Next, use the Lefsa Rolling Pin and roll out each Lefsa ball into a thin round of about 8 – 10 inches around.Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe is a traditional flatbread. (5)

Using Lefsa Stick

Using your Lefsa stick very carefully slide under the Lefsa and lift. Gently roll off the lefsa of the lefsa stick and place it onto the griddle. Bake until lightly browned approximately 3 minutes and then using a Lefsa stick gently pick up the Lefsa and flip it over.Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe is a traditional flatbread. (6) After 2 to 3 minutes lift to check if it.Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe is a traditional flatbread. (7) Finally, remove Lefsa with the Lefsa stick and place it on a plate. Lastly, stack with the remaining Lefsa you will make onto the plate.Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe is a traditional flatbread. (8)

*Notes

First, place a little potato flour on the side and place a small amount on the pastry board and onto each dough ball. While the Lefsa is cooking on the griddle roll out the next piece of Lefsa on the cloth-covered Lefsa board. Be careful not to forget the Lefsa on the griddle. Often this is a two-person job.

Continue rolling and baking on the griddle until all the dough is Lefsa.

Allow Lefsa to cool (that is if it lasts that long). Spread with butter and sugar or sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the lefsa. Lefsa as an appetizer. Roll the Lefsa up and place toothpicks in at every inch. Cut the Lefsa and serve as an appetizer. Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe is a traditional flatbread. (9)

Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa

Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe is a holiday and everyday bread in many Scandinavian homes made with flour and potatoes and eaten with butter and sugar.

Course Appetizer, Dessert, Side Dish

Cuisine Norwegian

Keyword Authentic Norwegian Family Lefsa Recipe, Gluten-Free, Gluten-Free Lefsa, Gluten-Free Lefsa Recipe, Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa, Gluten-Free Norwegian Lefsa Recipe, Lefsa, Lefsa Recipe, Lefsa Recipe Gluten-Free

Prep Time 45 minutes minutes

Cook Time 2 hours hours 30 minutes minutes

Cooking potatoes 40 minutes minutes

Total Time 3 hours hours 55 minutes minutes

Servings 30 pieces

Calories 158kcal

Author LaRena Fry

Equipment

Lefsa Rolling Pin

Lefsa Stick

Covered Pastry Board

Electric Griddle

Ingredients

  • 8 cup riced potatoes
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup cassava flour cassava flour
  • 1 cup potato flour *Use Swan's potato flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp pink salt

Instructions

Directions For Cooking Potatoes:

  • Peel and cut up about large potatoes.

  • Cook potatoes with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

  • Cook until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork. Important to not overcook the potatoes. Drain potatoes right away so they won't soak up any more water.

  • *Note (You may want to keep potato water for gravies or soups.)

Directions for Ricing Potatoes

  • Allow potatoes to cool slightly.

  • Use two containers to rice the potatoes into.

  • One to rice potatoes while still warm into the first bowl.

  • Next, rice potatoes again into the second bowl.

    8 cup riced potatoes

  • Rice potatoes 3 - 4 times for the fluffiest potatoes.

  • Next, add cream, butter, cassava flour, potato flour, salt, to the riced potatoes and combine until it can be rolled together into a ball of dough.

    3/4 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup butter, 1 1/2 cup cassava flour, 1 cup potato flour, 1 1/2 tsp pink salt

  • Once combined well divide into balls. Knead each ball for about 1 minute.Next, make balls out of the dough approximately 4 oz. I ended up with 30.

Directions For Making Lefsa

  • Get the Lefsa rolling pin and Lefsa stick.

  • First, preheat Lefsa Electric Griddle to around 350 F and 450F.

  • Using a Lefsa board with a removable pastry cloth and prep it by lightly flouring it with extra potato flour.

  • Next use theLefsa Rolling Pin and roll out each lefsa ball into a thin round of about 8 - 10 inches around.

  • Using the Lefsa stick very carefully slide under the Lefsa and lift.

  • Cook until lightly browned approximately 3 minutes and then using Lefsa stick gently pick up the Lefsa and flip it over.

  • Gently roll off the lefsa of the lefsa stick and place onto the griddle.

  • After 2 to 3 minutes lift to check if it is done.

  • Finally, remove Lefsa with Lefsa stick and place it on a plate.

  • Lastly, stack with the remaining Lefsa you will make onto the plate.

*Notes

  • First, place a little potato flour on the side and place a small amount on the pastry board and onto each dough ball.

  • While the Lefsa is cooking on the griddle roll out the next piece of Lefsa on the cloth-covered Lefsa board.

  • Be careful don't forget the Lefsa on the griddle. Often this is a two-person job.

  • Continue rolling and baking on the griddle until all the dough has been made into Lefsa.

  • Allow Lefsa to cool (that is if it lasts that long).

  • Spread butter and sugar or sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar on top of the lefsa and eat.

  • It can also be used as an appetizer.

Notes

Nutrition Facts
Servings30.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories158
% Daily Value *
Total Fat10g15%
Saturated Fat6g31%
Monounsaturated Fat1g
Polyunsaturated Fat0g
Trans Fat0g
Cholesterol27mg9%
Sodium25mg1%
Potassium218mg6%
Total Carbohydrate18g6%
Dietary Fiber1g6%
Sugars37g
Protein1g3%
Vitamin A8%
Vitamin C10%
Calcium1%
Iron4%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Nutrition

Serving: 30g | Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g

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FAQs

What is Norwegian lefse made of? ›

Lefse (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈlɛ́fsə̌]) is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread. It is made with riced potatoes, can include all purpose (wheat) flour, and includes butter, and milk, cream, or lard. It is cooked on a large, flat griddle.

What does lefse mean in English? ›

ˈlefsə plural lefsen. -sən. or lefses. : a large thin potato pancake served buttered and folded.

What is the difference between lefse and crepes? ›

Lefse is a Norwegian holiday dish that consists of thinly rolled potato-crepes cooked on a griddle, covered with various toppings, and rolled up into a cylinder.

Is lefse like a tortilla? ›

Lefse is a Norwegian flatbread that is a lot like a tortilla, but more delicate.

What does lefse mean in Norwegian? ›

noun. a round Norwegian flatbread resembling a tortilla, made with mashed potatoes and flour.

What do Norwegians eat with lefse? ›

Historically, lefse was often eaten with lutefisk, which is a traditional Nordic dish of dried cod. The fish would often be rolled up in the lefse. Norwegians would also often eat lefse rolled up with butter, with many also adding cinnamon and sugar.

Do you eat lefse warm or cold? ›

Serve lefse warm or at room temperature, spread with softened butter and rolled into a cylinder or folded into quarters. Add sugar or cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat.

Is lefse the same as flour tortillas? ›

Made from leftover mashed potatoes, lefse makes a thin and soft flatbread that's more substantial than a crêpe but more delicate and chewy than a flour tortilla.

What is the best way to eat lefse? ›

Serve the lefse with scrambled eggs and smoked fish, or cheese and jam, or gjetost, or butter and cinnamon-sugar, or hot dogs, or really any topping that appeals to you. Lefse can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

How to eat lefse for breakfast? ›

Fill small bowls or ramekins with whatever jams, jellies and spreads you already have. Simply roll up a lefse and dip into whichever topping you want! Lefse is slightly savory - combining it with something sweet makes a delicious contrasting-flavor pairing. Cream butter and sugar in your mixer.

What is klenning? ›

What is this? In parts of western Norway and northern Norway, a lefse usually refers to a slightly thicker, sweet pastry-like item served with coffee. They are typically filled with a sweet, cinnamon butter. These tend to have different names in other parts of Norway. For example, here is Norway, it is klenning.

How healthy is lefse? ›

On to the proteins, Lefse offers 4.37g per 100g, essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. It also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. With 172.0mg of sodium, it supports electrolyte balance and nerve function, while the 271.0mg of potassium can contribute to cardiovascular health.

What do you eat with lefse? ›

The typical way of eating lefse is with a spread of butter, sugar and sometimes cinnamon. But did you know that during Christmas, some Norwegians eat their lefse with meat in it? This tradition is especially strong in the eastern parts of Norway, in the region today called Viken.

Does lefse go bad? ›

Our lefse is made with no preservatives, so it can take a week or so in the fridge. In the refrigerator, it needs to stay in its sealed package or it will dry out. If you don't plan on eating it right away, toss it in the freezer. Lefse can be kept 6 months in the freezer if properly wrapped.

Can you use a tortilla press for lefse? ›

You can even use a tortilla press instead of a rolling pin if you're somewhat intimidated in the kitchen. I won't judge! Although lefse is a classic Christmastime dish loved throughout Norway, I think you could make it for a variety of occasions.

What does lefse taste like? ›

The taste is something almost earthy and intoxicating, with the potatoes imparting a satisfying umami that meshes seamlessly with the creaminess of the butter and the granular sweetness of the sugar into a complexity of flavor that doesn't seem possible from such a white-bread concoction of basic ingredients.

Why do Norwegians eat lefse? ›

The story of lefse is intertwined with Norwegian history. Just as the Norwegian flatbread was developed as a way to store food over the harsh winter months, lefse served a similar purpose. During the 19th century, the lefse was a popular way to store wheat or potato, which would otherwise be unusable.

Why is Norwegian bread so good? ›

Many Norwegian pieces of bread are made with whole grain, which is why they are highly beneficial because of the following reasons: It contains more fiber, which helps you feel full longer and causes you to eat less than usual.

References

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