Saving a Christmas Lefse Tradition

gf-lefse-nwmamaI know the New Year has rolled around, and Christmas has passed, but the good news is that Christmas is coming again in another 11 months and 22 days! This gives plenty of time to practice and perfect special recipes. The most special, on my side of the family, is lefse. A Norwegian treat. Practice = more lefse to eat!

A friend of mine and I got together a few days before Christmas, and made traditional potato lefse, using this recipe from We doubled the recipe, but somehow communication was confused (not hard when you are busy chatting and solving world peace), and we doubled-doubled the butter. Our “mistake” turned out to be genius! So for you wonderfully, blessed non-GF’ers, my only note for you on this recipe is to double the butter (increase the 1/4 cup butter to 1/2 cup butter), and DECREASE the cream (from 1/2 cup cream to 1/4 cup cream). Voila. Brilliant. Uff da, and all the rest.

Back to Gluten Free, because that’s why we’re here.. Or why I’m here.. you get the point. I just made this gluten free version yesterday, and I am so pleased with how it turned out. I will do my best to give clear direction on the alterations that I made to the original recipe. If you missed the link in the paragraph above, here it is again:

Notes, or “Areas to be emphasized.”

(in case they are already mentioned in the original recipe)


  • Boil the night before and add butter while hot (remember – DOUBLE the butter).
  • Cutting them into smaller pieces helps them cook more evenly.
  • Err on the side of overdone vs underdone.
  • Salt the water – about a tablespoon.
  • Drain REALLY well and cool without the lid on. This allows the extra moisture to escape. Then, refrigerate.
  • Use an electric mixer to get out the lumps. Ricer is not necessary, in my opinion.

My Lefse Making Notes (my notes, in addition to attached instructions):

  • Use slight teaspoon salt, since you salted the potato water.
  • Use 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cream. A mistake that turned out to be genius.
  • Gluten Free: increase cream to 1/3 cup.
  • Don’t add any extra flour to your dough. Instead add  flour on your board and generously flour your lefse rolling pin. Sprinkling after each roll with the pin if needed.
  • Pat the flour off the lefse before grilling, to prevent a black smokey mess (trust me).
  • Gluten free: DON’T PAT THE DOUGH! Use a pastry brush or dry cloth to gently brush off.
  • Gluten free, especially: Handle dough gently. Don’t press down on the dough, just use the weight of the roller.
  • Use flour sparingly when needed.
  • Handle like pie dough. The more you play with it, the tougher it gets.
  • Gluten Free: Don’t roll dough too much onto the stick.. more like a slight roll and lift onto the griddle.

That’s all I have for now 🙂

Oh.. one more. I probably don’t have to tell you, but I will anyway. Enjoy a piece while it’s warm! We love it with butter and cinnamon and sugar. My friend enjoys it with butter and brown sugar. BOTH are delicious!