Ah, lefse. Potato flatbread. That wonderful Norwegian holiday treat that’s best enjoyed when slathered with butter and sugar. Those that haven’t had it before may be puzzled at the idea, but if you grew up in the Midwest you’re probably salivating at the thought.
I’m not Norwegian or Scandinavian. I’m German-Russian. I didn’t grow up with a family who made lefse every holiday season, so it’s not traditional to me. However, I live in Fargo, North Dakota. And Norwegians are all over the place. And as a result, we may as well drape lefse around the town the same way we proudly display bison statues, signs, and paintings wherever we can. So this year, when the holiday season was creeping up, I took it upon myself to create a gluten free lefse so that I could join in the holiday lefse hype, too.
Honestly, Otto’s Cassava Flour made it pretty easy. I simply looked at traditional lefse recipes and made some quick-and-easy subs. Coconut milk for milk/cream. Ghee for butter. Cassava flour and a little arrowroot starch for wheat flour.
I eat white potatoes, which aren’t strict paleo (depending on what strict paleo is to you…), but if they aren’t your thing, just sub in Hannah sweet potatoes (they’re pale/white, not orange or purple).
In sum, if you know how to make lefse, this recipe will be exceedingly easy for you because only the ingredients are different. The method is the same. The important part is not to mix in the flours until you’re ready to make the patties – if you leave it overnight, it can result in a too-mushy dough.
There’s plenty of fancy lefse-making equipment out there, like lefse sticks, lefse griddles, lefse mats. But you don’t need any of them. I don’t have any of that – I just made smaller patties so they were easier to transfer to my cast iron skillet.
Oh, and for topping, just use ghee and honey. So, so good!
I grew up only eating lefse with butter and sugar, but I recently discovered there are other things you can do with this flatbread (go figure). Enjoy a savory version with smoked salmon and cashew cream cheese. Use eggs and bacon for breakfast lefse. Use it as a wrap with your favorite sandwich fillings. Or, slather some nut butter in that baby and roll it up. There are lots of possibilities…but I’ll admit, I went through the entire batch using just ghee and honey because that’s where it’s at!
Even though the holidays are over, we’re in for a long (albeit mild) winter. It doesn’t have to be Christmastime to eat gluten free lefse. Trust me…I’m noshing on the last of it right now!
Before making this, I hadn’t had lefse in years and years and years. Neither had my fiancé. So while I’m almost certain this recipe is legit, I’m not willing to buy gluten-filled lefse to compare. Please, if you give this recipe a go, give me some feedback so I know if it needs tweaking. I’m totally willing to
Join the holiday lefse hype with this gluten free lefse recipe! A few simple swaps make this recipe gluten free and dairy free.
- Prepare the potatoes. Peel potatoes and cut them into large, uniform chunks. Measure out 3-4 cups of potatoes and put in a large pot. Cover with water. Bring the pot to a low boil. Cook until the potatoes are soft and easily pierced with a fork – about 15 minutes (depending on the size of your potato pieces). Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.
- Using a fork, potato masher, or potato ricer, mash the potatoes until no lumps remain. Add the ghee, coconut milk, honey, and salt, and mix until completely combined. At this point, you can refrigerate overnight and add the flour/cook the lefse the next day. Alternatively, you can just continue on right away.
- When you’re ready to make the lefse, add the arrowroot powder and 1 cup cassava flour to the potato mixture and mix until fully combined. At first, it will be very crumbly, but eventually it starts coming together into a workable dough (patience is a virtue).
- Clear a large work space and sprinkle with arrowroot flour. Turn the dough onto the counter and knead a few times to bring it to a smooth ball. If you find that your dough is too wet and it sticks to your hands or your workspace, add additional cassava flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough is no longer too sticky to work with. If you add too much flour, and the dough will no longer stay together, you can add coconut milk or ghee a teaspoon at a time to bring it back to a dough consistency.
- Using your hands, make equal-sized balls out of the dough. Size varies depending on how big you want your lefse to be. I made balls about an inch in diameter.
- Heat a griddle or large cast iron pan to medium-high. Sprinkle a little more arrowroot flour onto your work surface. One at a time, flatten your dough balls and roll out very thin with a rolling pin. Using lefse stick/spatula (if you have one), transfer the thin patty to the griddle. Let cook for about 1 minute on each side or until slightly golden.
You don’t need fancy lefse equipment to make this, but it helps. If you don’t have the special equipment, just make small patties – they’re much easier to transfer to the griddle!
Note: This recipe was updated 9/9/16 to clarify some measurements!