Tjukklefse, the Iconic Norwegian Treat
Updated: Apr 26
For most people, lefse are the quintessentially Norwegian comfort food and everyone has a family recipe just as every region has it's own version that varies slightly from the region next door. The more usually seen lefse are from the west of Norway, Vestlandslefsa and are thin and very much like a flour tortilla, whereas others are the thicker more spongy version like these.
Lefse can conjure up so many happy memories. Grandmothers making lefse for Christmas or family recipes being made all together. Its a versatile food, that can be enjoyed with a sweet filling like sweet cinnamon butter or as an accompaniment for savoury dishes. And for many it's a perfect "turmat", a snack that can thrown in a backpack and enjoyed during a hike or outdoor activity.
I think it's time for some baking! Here is the recipe for my family's favourite type of lefse, tjukklefse or thick lefse. The are round and soft and slightly thicker than other lefse. They are also perfect with a delicious filling. We like cinnamon buttercream, but you might prefer jam, or honey.
Tjukklefse (makes about 16 , depending on the size of your plate!)
200g/ 1 3/4 sticks butter
250g/ 1 1/4 cups sugar
2 medium sized eggs
300ml/ 1 1/4 cups sour milk or culture milk (or kefir if you can get it)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 dessertspoon light syrup such as golden syrup or corn syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Approximately 850g/ 6 cups all purpose or plain flour/
Cinnamon buttercream (butter, powdered sugar and cinnamon)
Butter and a sprinkling of sugar
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, syrup, and milk. Sift together the dry ingredients and gradually add them to the wet mix, a spoonful at a time. Keep a little of the flour back as you might not need it all. The dough should be relatively soft, but not very sticky.
Turn it out onto a floured surface and roll out to about 2mm/an eighth of an inch thick. Cut into large rounds about the size of a sideplate. I used a smallish sideplate for this because it fitted best in my heavy bottomed pan. You might find it easier to cut out one lefse as you are cooking the one before. That way they won't all get stuck together on the work surface.
Heat a griddle or heavy bottomed frying pan to a medium heat. Lightly grease it with butter or margarine and cook each lefse one at a time for about 2 minutes on each side. They should be a a lovely golden brown on both sides and slightly risen. Cool slightly on a board or wire rack before filling.
Fill with the filling of your choice, or enjoy them spread with butter and sprinkled with sugar.
Vær så god!
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