Yesterday I spent an interesting and fun day in a baker’s hut surrounded by beautiful winter wonderland. I hired the hut for a symbolic amount as I wanted to try baking Norwegian traditional “Nordlandslefse” or “Tjukklefse” in a real wood-burning baking oven. I’s a kind of griddle cake my mother used to serve us, and those days we always ate them with delicious chilled “rømme” (sour cream) on them as my mother loved all kinds of milk products.. yeah..she always did her own cottage cheese too, and still doo.
So, I started out making a little fire in the middle of the oven, It would take at least an hour to get the oven hot enough, so in meanwhile I prepared everything I needed on the baking table and finished the dough.
The baking hut also offered a great baking-board with hight-adjustment, but I just loved this wonderful outdoor winter landscape view and stayed working on the ordinary table by the windows – you fully understand don’t you?
When the firewood was turning black-ish I divided it carefully into smaller parts and spread it around the baking griddle for more heat, when hot enough I used an ovens scrape to push the red-hot embers aside to make place for baking, finally I took a blow pipe to blow away any rests of ash – ready to bake!
The first thing I learned yesterday was to be very generous with the flour, if not you will have a living hell rolling out and handling the griddle cakes in the oven .. and just don’t be too generous with the salt of hartshorn, I was pretty close to the limit here, but the great taste overruled it ..thank God!
I really had a great time baking “tjukklefser” here, I would have stayed much longer.. but needed to be home before my son got back from school.. so, this was certainly not the last time I rented this baking hut, the lessor also dropped by for a quick visit to taste the Norwegian griddle cakes, and wished me very welcome next time… looking forward of course, I already know what to bake.
The recipe for Nordlandslefser (Tjukklefse) – shot directly from the hips (so approximately):
- 250 g melted butter
- 1 cup white baking sirup
- 2 cups sugar
- 2-3 cups cultured milk/kefir
- 2 eggs (fresh from Gottne äggbod)
- 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoon salt of hartshorn
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Ca 1 kg white flour
This is how I proceeded:
Basically I mixed the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. I used a big flour bolt and sifted the dry mixed ingredients into the wet ingredients, blended everything slightly (don’t knead the dough too long) and adjusted the amount of flour to get a “non-sticky” dough.
I divided the dough into “buns” and rolled them out as thin as possible with a rolling-pin using flour both under and over. Before I used a wooden oven spatula to move the cakes into the oven, I “patterned” the griddle cakes with a “naggkavel” – a sort of knotted rolling-pin. The oven baking itself was the easy part, the heat was perfect and I baked the griddles quick on both sides, moving them around a bit in the oven so not to stick. I let them cool down on the net shelves and packed them in plastic bags.
If you dont have access to cold delicious “rømme” (sour cream) -these Nordlandslefser/Tjukklefser will also taste great with a creamy mix of butter, sugar(sweetener also works) and cinnamon, just mix it and smear it on.. yummy especially for the children.
Brown cheese/Norwegian goat cheese (brunost/geitost ) also works like a charm here … and if you want to shoot further from your hips for Christmas – you can do as I did, put some saffron in parts of the dough.. holy f… 😀