Husband and I rolled out about 75 sheets of lefse on Halloween. Husband considers us lefse purists. We would never use mashed potato flakes, as many do, in our lefse. We try to use store-bought, ND grown russet potatoes along with white potatoes we grow in the garden. My recipe calls for lard, and we use our own home-rendered lard, as well as organic heavy cream, sugar, and flour. We rice the dough twice. The recipe is one I got from a local church member who got it in California from a Jewish woman married to a man of Norwegian heritage. It doesn’t get much funkier than this.
I rolled out the dough and put it on the griddles. Husband fried and flipped and transferred the lefse to towels to cool. We used two griddles. This year we realized that one of our griddles was defective, so that meant a quick trip to Ace Hardware for a new one, along with another flipping stick. ( I got tired of sharing the one we had with Husband as he fried and flipped.) We now have his and hers flipping sticks.
I have two pastry boards, three pastry board covers, and multiple cotton covers for my lefse rolling pin. The pastry board and covers are great for rolling out pie crusts, too. You can’t let the cloth get damp or the dough sticks and you get holes in your lefse. It is really important to keep the dough as cold as possible before you roll it out. I know that I have rolled it thin enough when I can vaguely see through the dough the red letters imprinted on the pastry board cover that say Bethany Pastry Cloth. This is an Iowa company that sells everything you need for lefse making.
All my relatives identified as being of German heritage. None of my relatives ever made lefse. I learned to make lefse here in ND, in a German church with very few people of Norwegian heritage, but many who insist on making lefse every year. I am continually amused as Ancestry.com keeps reassessing my DNA and now tells me my DNA is 17% Swedish. I don’t know if Swedes make lefse, but I know what lefse is supposed to be like. Mashed potato flakes indeed!
For what will you accept no substitutes? What equipment do you have that you consider essential?