I love bread, and especially flatbreads. But once I discovered all of my food allergies, being able to buy or eat any pre-made bread/cracker products or even “gluten-free” breads hasn’t been possible because they all contain too many ingredients that aren’t safe for me to eat. If I don’t make it myself, I pay the consequences… So I’ve had to get creative in the kitchen to cook egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, rice-free, bean-free, sugar-free, and so many other ingredients too numerous to list!
As a kid, we always ate Lefse at my Grandma’s house. Lefse is a potato-based flatbread, very similar to a tortilla. Remembering it was potato-based, and I can eat potatoes, I got excited at the possibility of a gluten-free Lefse flatbread in my life. However, once I pulled my grandma’s recipe out of the box and read the ingredients I knew I was still screwed. And it’s no wonder it tasted so great as a kid – potatoes, Crisco, and cream!
Here’s my Grandma’s Gluten-Filled (High FAT) Lefse recipe:
1 quart Mashed Potatoes (no lumps)
¼ C. Crisco
¼ C. Whipping Cream
1 ½ C. Flour
1 tsp. salt.
Cook & rice russet potatoes (peeled, diced, and boiled). Put in electric mixer and beat until potatoes turn elastic. Then add Crisco & Cream. Beat again. Last – work in flour sifted with salt. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Chill at least 3 hours. Using flour on boards as needed roll very thin and large circles. Transfer to hot griddle and cook until brown. Turn to brown on other side, stack on oil paper and cover with cloth until cool. Wrap and freeze.
The last time my brother and I attempted this recipe we burned out every small appliance in my kitchen! Seriously…I’m not kidding – the electric mixer, the hand mixer, the blender… It was a kitchen disaster. And on top of that having to hand-roll circles to an even thickness, and approximately the same size, then getting them off the counter without ripping the dough to get it into the pan… Frustrating is a nice word for how we were both feeling by the time we finished. OH Grandma thank-you for all your hard work to feed us when we were kids!
Not to abandon the idea, but needing to change 3 of 5 ingredients for Lefse to be on my safe, healthy foods list, I began searching the internet for a Gluten-Free Lefse flatbread recipe. When you’re limited on food choices, the amount of time it takes to eat safely becomes irrelevant – You just have to find, and make the time to cook. I was thrilled to find and master a MUCH EASIER Gluten-Free Lefse recipe! It still takes time, but by making BIG batches and freezing it I’ve always got a safe and healthy flatbread in the house. Here are my healthy cooking tips to make your own Gluten-Free Lefse flatbread.
A Few Must-Have Flatbread/ Lefse-Making Kitchen Utensils:
- Potato Ricer
- Flour Sieve
- Tortilla Press
- Non-Stick Skillet (I use a large electric skillet)
Gluten-Free Lefse Flatbread Recipe:
3 cups cooked, riced potatoes (Use Russet Potatoes – Peel, dice, boil, drain, and rice)
3 Tablespoons Organic Shortening + 1 tsp butter flavoring
1 ½ cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
1 T granulated Honey (or sugar)
2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1 teaspoon unflavored, unsweetened gelatin
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsweetened Almond Milk
Drain & rice potatoes. While still warm, mix in shortening & allow to cool to room temp.
Sift together all dry ingredients (Do NOT add almond milk) Mix dry ingredients into cooled potatoes. Mix well. Add almond milk and blend well. (I hand mix with a spoon or potato masher.)
My dough tends to be crumbly…but when you put it in your hand to roll a ball it sticks together. If your dough is too wet it will be impossible to get from the press to the pan. If this is a problem for you – sift and mix more flour blend and add until you’re at a good consistency for your dough balls to press and easily peel off the saran wrap and transfer into the pan.
Make egg-sized dough balls. (A cookie scoop makes a great measuring spoon.)
Cover both sides of the tortilla press with Saran Wrap. Saran Wrap is KEY for getting your flatbreads off the press and into the pan! Place a dough ball on the press and flatten. Remove Lefse and transfer to a lightly-oiled hot (@350 degrees) non-stick skillet. Cook until lightly browned on both sides. Classic Lefse will have brown spots when cooked through.
I use Canola oil, and lightly grease pan between batches to help browning.
Today I stacked on a baking rack to cool. But as I’m looking at my Grandma’s recipe, she suggests stacking on wax paper and covering with a cloth. I’d recommend this because it will keep them soft as they cool. Keeping them soft will make it much easier to roll up and freeze to keep especially if you’re making a big batch.
Gluten-Free Flour Blend
|@ 6 cups
|@ 12 ½ Cups
|@ 18 ½ Cups
|2 ½ cups
|7 ½ cups
|1 ½ cups
|4 ½ cups
|Arrowroot Powder (or Corn Starch)
|1 ½ cups
|¾ cup + 2 T
|1 ¾ cups
|2 ½ cups
|¾ cup + 2 T
|1 ¾ cups
|2 ½ cups
(thanks to: angelaskitchen.com)
*I can’t eat rice so in the flour blend above I substitute Kamut flour for the rice flour. 70% of people with wheat allergies can tolerate Kamut flour. Be sure Kamut flour is safe for you if you decide to try my version of this recipe. If you’re sensitive to any of the ingredients in this blend – try substituting ingredients you know are OK to make your own “safe” flour mix.
Layer cooled Lefse flatbreads between wax paper or parchment paper and wrap in aluminum foil. I like to wrap 2 Lefse per-tinfoil roll. These single-serving tinfoil containers make it easy to pop what you want to warm up in the toaster oven or oven while you’re prepping the rest of your meal.
Refrigerate what you plan to eat this week. Put the rest in freezer-bags, or Food Saver bags for freshness and freeze. (Honestly I don’t know how long they keep in the freezer, because mine don’t last that long!)
The quantity in the recipe above will make approximately twenty 6-8” flatbreads. If I’m going to the trouble to bake, I prefer larger batches. (The batch I did this weekend was 12 lbs of potatoes. +/- 140 yummy lefse’s! I won’t have to bake again for 3-4 months.) If you’re more than a family of two, chances are they won’t last very long anyway. Bake in bulk. I suggest at least doubling or tripling the recipe if you’ve got some freezer space for storage.
To EAT & Enjoy Lefse Flatbread:
- Enjoy like you would any other flat bread.
- Great for breakfast or lunch with almond butter and jelly
- Yummy with honey
- Use as a soft taco shell
- Use as a wrap for a breakfast burrito
- Use as a base for mini-pizzas
- Toast with cheese for a roll-up, or grill for a quesadilla
- Your options are endless…
If you decide to spend a day in the kitchen cooking up a batch of Gluten-Free Lefse flatbread, let me know how it goes! A day of baking Lefse can be a fun event for the whole family. And I’d love to know what you’re favorite Lefse flatbread topping is, drop a comment below and share. What is YOUR favorite way to eat Lefse?