Problem: The lefse is sticking to the board, rolling pin, or turning stick.
Cause: The dough is too wet or there is not enough flour on the board and pin.
Solution: Are you keeping your board and pin well coated with flour? Generally one tablespoon of flour is added to the board before each piece of lefse is rolled out and about 1 teaspoon of flour worked into the rolling pin.
If that doesn’t take care of the problem then the dough to too moist. Add 1/8 C. of flour and mix in well with a spoon.
If you’ve had sticking problems, then you probably have dough stuck to your board and/or pin.
If this happens, quickly rub some flour into the dough and attempt to scrape it off. The stuck-on dough must be removed or subsequent pieces of lefse will stick in the same spot and will tear your lefse. Unfortunately, odds are you will have to replace the rolling pin’s sock or board cover with a fresh one. If you don’t have spares, then you’ll be forced to stop for now and launder the fabric.
Lastly, when you are rolling out the dough, use a light touch; especially the first few strokes when you’re flattening the puck - the weight of the pin might be all you need. As the lefse gets thinner, you can apply a little more downward pressure (just slight, fingertip weight).
Rips When Moving
Problem: When I try flipping or moving the lefse it begins ripping.
Cause: It could be your technique, but more than likely you will have to “toughen up” the dough.
Solution: Add flour to the dough. Flour will add gluten and help to keep the dough together. Too much flour and your lefse will have a tendency to dry out quickly and become more tough and chewy.
Ensure that your turning stick is clean by running your fingers along its length, if you feel anything rough, scrap it off with a fingernail or knife.
Unable to roll out a nice looking piece of lefse
Problem: The lefse looks more like an island with bays and fjords than a smooth circle.
Cause: Your dough is too dry or you are not starting out with a well-shaped puck.
Solution: Add a little milk to the dough. Ensure that the puck starts out with very smooth sides or try making the pucks thinner.
Unable to Roll into Circular Shape
Problem: When I roll the pieces out the edges split and it won’t form a circle.
Cause: The dough is too dry.
Solution: Add a LITTLE BIT of liquid. Start with 1 oz. per 35 oz. of dough.
The following picture shows a lot of problems with this piece of lefse. First you’ll notice a lot of dark “flecks” in the sheet. These are formed when potatoes cooked in alkaline water cool; add vinegar to the water next time. Secondly, it didn’t end-up very circular and the edges are splitting. Lastly, the interior developed a split and the rolling pin tore a chunk out.
That said, this batch of lefse was still delicious. The moral is relax. It’s going to be OK.
There are many problems with this piece of lefse.
Lefse Tears or Splits
Problem: When I roll the pieces out I get tears and splits (see photo above)
Cause: The dough is too wet or your rolling pin needs to be cleaned.
Solution: Ensure there are no wet spots on the rolling pin; they will cause tear-outs. If your pin is OK, then add a small amout of flour to the dough and work it in with a sturdy spoon.
For the above piece of lefse I added BOTH flour and milk. The flour was needed to make the lefse a little tougher and the milk made it easier to roll into circular shape and eliminate the edge splits.
The Center or Edges of Lefse Dries Out
Problem: Part of my lefse (it could be the edges or the center) is dry and cracks when it is folded.
Cause: The lefse was on your griddle too long.
Solution: By the time the lefse looked fully cooked, it also dried out. You need to turn the heat up higher and cook it for a shorter amount of time.