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Nov 17, 2011 11:01 PM

Rolling out Lefse

How important is a grooved rolling pin for lefse? I'm trying to make it as close as possible to what my grandfather remembers from growing up in MN and was wondering if it would be worth getting? Is there a special technique, or should a regular rolling pin on a floured cloth-covered board be good enough? That's what I use for strudel and povitica and other thin doughs. Any other tips?

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  1. My family only makes it once a year or so when everyone gets together. So buying a rolling pin isn't worth it. However a friend of mine has one because her grandma makes lefse once a week. It does reduce the pressure needed to roll out the dough and gets it thins it faster. Maybe about spend 33% less time rolling the dough with a lefse pin. Also for some reason the dough doesn't stick to the grooved pins as much as a flat one.

    I'd say that if you are planning on making lefse a lot, or have trouble rolling out the dough thin enough (arthritis for example) it's worth your time and money to get one. But if you are making it once a year, it seems a bit of a waste.

    If you have one of the cloth covered pastry rolling pins, that works better than a reg rolling pin too, but nothing wrong with a plain old round one.

    1. Oh, good old lefse! Here's a site I found when I just googled Lefsa.

      My mom, my very frugal mom, made it once in a while and she did have the lefse rolling pin and the special griddle. I don't think she used a cloth but rather learned how to roll it around the rolling pin and unto the griddle by unrolling it.

      She tried with a regular smooth rolling pin but never got the results she wanted. She also had to play around with a recipe to get it perfect for her.

      I want some lefse now! I grew up in ND on the MN border and was surprised not everyone knew what lefsa is when I moved away and got married.

      Do you have a recipe?

      6 Replies
      1. re: chocolatejam

        My folks make it, I have it on my blog, with pictures (see my profile). Of course, Red River Valley potatoes are the best! Dad gets cloth made for cast (like for broken arms) covers, cuts it to fit the rolling pin....
        Hopefully, will get some lefse in a couple of days, leaving for MN tomorrow. Folks live about 70 miles SE of Fargo.
        One time, when they came, and made lefse while here, they forgot the turning stick. Dad whittled one out of a yardstick!
        mouth is watering....

        1. re: wyogal

          Oh! I'd forgotten the turning stick!!!! Mom had one of those too. Wish I was there helping you eat some.

          Do you put butter alone on it or butter and a sprinkle of sugar? At our house it was just butter.

          Mom's best friend did it "the rich people way" with butter and sugar.

          1. re: chocolatejam

            Butter and sugar, Mom doesn't use sugar, but I am spoiled! I don't put anything else on it. Some people put peanut butter on it, yuck!!!!
            Do you do lutefisk, too? I don't like it enough to make it, can't really find it here anyway, but it does take me back to the olden days! LOTS of melted butter, dry mustard and potatoes makes it somewhat palatable!

            1. re: wyogal

              We used this recipe (shortcut) that was on Heavy Table and made it last Sat.11/19/11, we have tryed many recipes and this one is a winner. And yes, lefse is very big here in Minnesota. Just buy the pin cover and put it on a regular rolling pin. Lots of lefse stuff at Fleet Farm

              1. re: cookkevin

                Looks good, but no offense, not as nice as my mom's and dad's! ha! They are like the king and queen of lefse. They made over 300 rounds last year for the church Christmas bakesale, and it sold out in less than 15 minutes!

                1. re: wyogal

                  Do you have a recipe to share???? I've never attempted it myself, but all of a sudden I'm wanting to try my hand at it.

                  I don't do lutefisk. Never have wanted to get too close to it when it was being served at a potluck in MN when I was a kid.

      2. I just had a lefse-making party for my cousins last weekend, after very recently learning how to make it myself. The idea was we would share techniques, recipes, etc., and have a good time in the process.

        One cousin brought a rolling pin cover and a pastry cloth, which for some reason I have never seen in my life. Oh my gosh, what a world of difference those two things made. In my observation of that day, the best technique involved using a pastry cloth, a regular rolling pin with a cover first, then followed up with the grooved rolling pin to get air bubbles out. She rolled the lefse so thin that it cooked up too crispy (a problem I have NEVER had!). We lightened up on the rolling and were able to achieve the desired thickness without a lot of work or frustration of sticky dough.

        1. I don't know if this will help you, but just in case someone needs a lefse rolling pin vs regular pin............. you can use a hard tac rolling pin for rolling out the lefse dough. It works quite well and it creates a waffle like pattern which allows the lefse to "bake" on the griddle.

          I am a Illinois girl but married into a family from Minnesota. I had never heard of lefse. My husband makes lefse several times a year. He uses a hard tack rolling pin. It has little squares carved in the pin. This works fine for him. I prefer to use the lefse rolling pin as it works best for me. You can get the stick to pick up and place the lefse on the griddle. Usually they are red and white painted stick. A stick from the bottom of a shade works well also.

          Never tried a regulaar rolling pin though. If you buy a lefse kit which is a griddle, stick, rolling pin and recipe book you should be well on your way. The kit is somewhere around 140.00 or so. We have two griddles. In our house my husband rolls and I man the griddle. It goes faster that way. I don't have a rcipe for lefse it is trial and error. Once you get it figured out you will find it is all in the texture of the dough. It should not be too sticky on your hands. Using potatoes with eyes seems to make the best lefse I have found. The potatoes have less moisture in them. We use baking potatoes or red.

          As far as what to fill your lefse with we use just butter, butter and sugar or butter sugar and cinnamon. You can fill it with what you want, then roll it up. I have even heard of peaanut butter and jelly.

          Hope this helps some. Stay away from the ludafisk (not sure of spelling) it is awful!