Scandinavian (mashed) potato flat bread – a two-for-one

Sorry for the somewhat weird title, potetkake doesn´t (I discovered) have a really good English translation. Lompe is another Norwegian name for this funny looking, traditional, yet scrumptious whatchamacallit. Since another Norwegian synonym probably doesn´t help you much, I am just gonna call it potetkake for the rest of the post, ok?

And I will do my best to explain to you what it is and I will present one very traditional way to use it, and one untraditional (at least in my region!). Both delicious!

I suspect that there is a slightly higher probability that my American readers have heard of lefse, rather than potetkake. I am sure there are as many recipes for lefse as there are villages in Norway, some are thick, some are thin and some have potatoes in addition to flour in the recipe. Yet there seems to be consensus that lefse and potetkake are two different things. The most obvious difference is the shape; lefse are normally rectangular and folded, while potetkake are small and round (like small crepes). In potetkake the main ingredient is potatoes, with just a little flour. While lefse is mainly flour, sometimes with potatoes like I mentioned. Confusing.

There are also an endless amount of rules of what can be used for what (butter and sugar, salmon, hot dogs…), but the rules seem to differ from region to region. So, I deduce that you can make whatever and use it for whatever (as long as you don´t have a Norwegian grand mother looking over your shoulder).

I grew up eating potetkake with butter and sugar; mostly store bought. This is the first time I´ve made them myself. If I had had any clue it was that easy, not to mention so much better tasting than store bought, I would have been making these every time I had leftover potatoes. I would even have made sure I boiled way too many potatoes to ensure leftovers… 😉 Anyway, let´s get to cooking.

Fact: Norwegians eat a lot of potatoes (particularly boiled), and even more so during Christmas. So when the leftovers pile up in the fridge, don´t despair! For this post I had 8 or 9 peeled, boiled potatoes in the fridge.

Mash them with a masher or with a fork. It might be a bit easier to mash them better while the potatoes are hot, but I assure you, you can definitely do this with refrigerator-cold potatoes. No problem! Sprinkle a little salt over while you mash (a pinch or two). Now add a little flour at a time until you have a dough that can barely be rolled, the less flour you use, the better they will be! Shape the dough into a shape similar to the rolling pin, and slice it into 1 inch disks. Flatten them using your hands or a rolling pin. Try to get them as thin as possible, before toasting them in a medium hot, dry frying pan. Flip it when it has light brown spots.

After they have cooled, they can be stored in a piece of cloth. However, they are best served fresh!

Option 1; potetkake with gravlax, sour cream and red onions:

Spread a generous dollop of sour cream over a potetkake, cover with a this slice of gravlax (alternately smoked salmon), and sprinkle over some chopped, red onion.

Roll it up and if you eat this around Christmas time you can definitely enjoy with some Christmas beer and some Aqvavit!

Option 2; potetkake with butter and sugar (the kid-friendly version):

This is so easy, it doesn´t look fancy or even that tasty, but oh my… These puppies served with a cup of joe will make your day! Simply spread some butter over still lukewarm potetkake and sprinkle sugar over it. Then roll it up!

And for the record; there is no shame in half´n´halfing it! I can even recommend it!


Happy New Year everyone!
Xoxo, Karen


7 thoughts on “Scandinavian (mashed) potato flat bread – a two-for-one

  1. Just made some potetkake today. Funny how hard it is to find much on the Internet about potetkake. Thank you for your post.

  2. Thank you! Have made and ate these all my life and couldn’t find the right spelling. Our Norwegian family adds a bit of lard to the mix, roll it thin and use a plate to make them uniform because we make about 30-50 for an event. Butter and brown sugar. And great to roll up left overs later. Uffda!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s