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One-Potato Lefse—40 Minutes

One potato done in five minutes.

This is lefse for those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, as the old Nat Cole song says. Yep, it’s too darn hot (Cole Porter) to make a big batch of lefse, right? But where there’s a will there’s a way, so OK, we’re going to use one potato to make four rounds of lefse in 40 minutes.

I got this idea from my lefse friend Amy Marquard, who is featured in Keep On Rolling! Life on the Lefse Trail and Learning to Get a Round. I modified her Two-Potato Frying-Pan Lefse in About an Hour recipe to this:

1 potato baker size (russet is standard but you can use any kind of potato)
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1/8 cup cream
½ cup flour, extra for rolling pin and rolling surface

Makes about four lefse.

Potatoes riced twice with cream, butter, salt, and sugar added.
  1. Cube and pressure cook the unpeeled potato for about 5 minutes. Microwaving a whole unpeeled potato poked with holes for 4 minutes and then 4 more minutes after turning is an option, but sometimes the potato dries out too much.
  2. Peel skins from cubes, mash, and rice twice to remove small lumps that could tear the rounds when rolling. Result is about 1 cup of riced potatoes, depending on the actual size of the baker potato you choose.
  3. Melt butter in saucepan and mix in salt and powdered sugar until dissolved, or nearly dissolved.
  4. Stir butter-salt-sugar mixture and cream into the riced potatoes, and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  5. Cover with towel or paper cloth and let stand while you set up rolling station and lefse grill.
  6. Knead in flour and let dough stand at least five minutes to allow the gluten in the flour to do its thing of holding the dough together when rolled thin.
  7. Roll 3-4 four rounds of lefse.
  8. Enjoy with iced tea.
  9. Stay cool.
This One-Potato Lefse dough is wet, which I like. So I go easy on the pin and turn the round when I am half way through and sometimes again to prevent sticking.
Finished round.
First side on the grill.
Second side on the grill.
A pretty second lefse round on the grill.

Notes: When I first tried this One-Potato Lefse, I stuck to my trusted recipe based on 3 cups of riced potatoes. But I found the lefse was dry and lacked flavor, so I slightly increased the amount of butter, sugar, salt, and cream. That made for more flavor but also a wet dough that some might call sticky.

Many lefse makers recoil at the idea of rolling sticky dough, especially when it has not had a chance to cool, which is the case here with lefse in 40 minutes. I am OK with this because I go light on the rolling pin and turn the rounds several times, which prevents sticking.

So be flexible and adventuresome. Trust your lefse-making skills this summer and give One-Potato Lefse a try.

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