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How to make traditional Swedish lefse for Christmas

By Andrew Johnson

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 11 2012 4:06 p.m. MST

Swedish lefse looks a lot like a tortilla, and is delicious with butter, sugar and cinnamon.

Ivar HusevÅg DØskeland

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Lefse is a delicious Scandinavian flatbread made from potatoes that's topped with delicious ingredients like butter, sugar, cinnamon, jelly or even meatballs.

It’s the memories I have with my family around Christmas that make preparing and eating lefse such a special thing.

My grandmother makes lefse each year before the holidays, and will often freeze a batch to enjoy after presents have been unwrapped.

Her family is Swedish, and many Scandinavian foods are enjoyed by our family each year, including søtsuppe (Scandinavian sweet soup), lutfisk (a dried fish), köttbullar (Swedish meatballs) and of course lefse.

Lefse is a flatbread made from flour and potatoes, and is a little thicker than a tortilla. Some of my favorite memories growing up are gathering around the table and preparing a plate of lefse. We would load up on the butter and sugar, and then make our way into the living room to hear the Christmas story and “The Night before Christmas” before heading off to bed.

Lefse is relatively easy to make, and goes great with a glass of milk or cider. It’s also a recipe that the whole family can enjoy making in the kitchen.

Scandinavian lefse

Makes: 24 servings

5 baking potatoes, peeled and diced

3 tablespoons butter

½ cup cream

1 cup all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

Boil the potatoes until tender, and drain. Mix the potatoes, cream, butter and salt until creamy and thoroughly blended.

Then, with a large spoon, fold the flour into the potato mixture until dough is formed. The dough should not be sticky, and add extra flour until the desired consistency is reached. Now preheat a pan or griddle.

Add some flour to your preparation surface, and grab a piece of dough that is roughly the size of a ping-pong ball. Roll the dough in your hands until a ball is formed. Flatten the ball with your palm, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough until it is about ¼-inch thin.

Place the flattened dough onto the griddle, and heat for about three minutes. Flip it over, and cook the other side for about three minutes. Transfer the cooked lefse onto a towel to cool. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough. Store the lefse in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Andrew Johnson is a writer, former radio reporter, avid outdoorsman and single father. He makes his home in Salt Lake County, and now runs a blog about life as a single dad at Daddy Plus.