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!
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.
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.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.
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
- 1 1/2 cup cassava flour
- 8 cups riced potatoes
- 1 cup potato flour
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
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. Place into the fridge and allow to cool. Allow to cool for 4- 5 hours or overnight. In the morning remove and add the cassava flour, and potato flour. 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 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. Next, use the Lefsa Rolling Pin and roll out each Lefsa ball into a thin round of about 8 – 10 inches around.
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. After 2 to 3 minutes lift to check if it. 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.
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
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.
- 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.
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 10 g||15 %|
|Saturated Fat 6 g||31 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 27 mg||9 %|
|Sodium 25 mg||1 %|
|Potassium 218 mg||6 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 18 g||6 %|
|Dietary Fiber 1 g||6 %|
|Sugars 37 g|
|Protein 1 g||3 %|
|Vitamin A||8 %|
|Vitamin C||10 %|
|* 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.|