Being Norwegian, I am not lacking in ideas of what to do with potatoes. As I’ve mentioned before in my previous posts, where would Norway be without potatoes?
We seem to eat it with practically every meal, as this is an easy crop to grow in a cold weather country such as ours.
This blog is somewhat focused on traditional recipes from my homeland, so what better food to make on a chilly morning or afternoon than Norwegian lomper?
I can hardly think of a more classic example of a popular food from my country. A soft flatbread made up of cooked potatoes and a bit of flour, these have a long history in Norway and are similar to the Mexican tortilla, the Italian piadina, Indian roti, or Middle Eastern lavash.
Every country in the world has its version of this type of flatbread, as they are often the epitome of everyday foods that are highly loved.
Lomper also qualifies as a healthy wrap in that it is frequently made with whole wheat or whole grain flour and contains no fat (oil or butter). Amazingly, they are incredibly flavorful as well because of the potatoes and have a very attractive, soft, slightly sweet, and velvety texture.
Some people think lomper is the same as potato lefser , however, in my opinion, lomper are more rustic and thicker while definitely a lot easier and quicker to make than the traditional “lefser”.
Other names for lomper are potetkaker (potato cakes) and hellekaker (the latter term is used in western Norway). Potetkaker were usually eaten plain, and only on Sundays was it served with butter. Hellekaker were made with oatmeal, oat flour, or barley flour prior to the arrival of the potato in Norway.
Lomper act as a wrap for both sweet and savory food. You can make a delightful spread with butter, cinnamon, and vanilla sugar, or fill them with vegan sour cream and lingonberries for a delectable sweet treat!
Smear with cream cheese with some chopped pickled and dill, a grilled vegan sausage topped with pickled red onion and mustard, or grilled tofu with sautéed vegetables with a dollop of tangy yogurt- cucumber dip, and you have lunch, dinner, or a savory snack in between meals.
I love the versatility of lomper, plus it has that authentic Norwegian taste I so often crave. These flatbreads bring me right back home.
While I hear lomper is originally from Sweden, this food has such a long history in Norway, I feel that we can share the glory of who came up with this creation.
When making lomper you can use any type of flour or a combination of different flours.
The best and most pliable lomper are made by using barley or rye flour and potatoes. I’ve chosen to use rye flour with a little all-purpose flour in the recipe below, but feel free to substitute whatever you have in the house. You can also make them entirely gluten-free, which is useful for those who are gluten intolerant.
The one important point I want to make about making these delectable lomper is to use Russet potatoes, not golden or Yukon Golds, the latter are too moist and will make a mess of the dough.
Make sure to boil the potatoes whole and with their skin on, to prevent excess moisture from seeping in.
Please note the dough is not the easiest to handle and may take you a few times to master. I promise your efforts will be worth it!
The dough should just barely come together to be able to roll it out, but it might feel extremely porous and sticky compared to other types of dough, because of the low quantity of flour added.
The key is to be conservative with the flour, as the flour taste should not predominate, but let the flavor of the potato shine through and also avoid the texture from becoming too dense.
Use a very light hand when rolling it out, and make sure you constantly coat your rolling pin with flour (but not too much!) to keep it from sticking.
Adjusting and achieving the correct heat on the griddle or stove is also important.
If you bake them on too high of a heat, the lomper will still be raw on the inside while burnt on the outside, but if the heat is too low they become hard and chewy.
Experiment with a few temperatures at first and see what levels work best. Most times, baking and cooking are all about trial and error!
The classic lomper might be the one with lots of good (vegan) butter, sugar, and cinnamon, this truly is a culinary experience!
Humble yes, but sometimes simple is the most satisfying. I sure had a big smile on my face this afternoon while enjoying them with my coffee!
Another popular way to enjoy lomper is to spread it with a bit of mustard, add a hot dog in the middle and roll it up, much like I described previously. This is a popular substitute (and a more authentic Norwegian version) for the hot dog bun.
I also like to add a vegan ‘shrimp’ salad on my hot dog (yes, very typical Norwegian) that I make with either chickpeas or mushrooms, for an extra fancy version.
You will see the “pølse og lompe” being served at many stands during ball games in Norway and it’s also a popular street food on the 17th of May (Norway’s Constitution Day).
The limit to fillings is your imagination—anything will taste good wrapped in lomper, believe me!
Instead of buying pre-made wraps at the supermarket, do yourself a favor and try this recipe out. While they may take a little work, you won’t mind when experiencing the pleasure of eating them when they are done, hot off the griddle with your favorite filling.
Makes about 14 lomper
2 pounds (1 kilo) Russet potatoes, washed and unpeeled
1/2 cup (120 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (110 grams) rye flour
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
Boil the potatoes whole in salted water until soft when pierced through with a knife. Drain, let cool slightly, and peel them. Put the potatoes through a ricer or mash them really well with a fork and add a teaspoon or two of salt.
In another bowl combine all the flours, then add the flour gradually to the mashed potatoes and knead until the dough starts to come together. You may or may not need to use all the flour, remember adding too much flour will cause the lomper to get tough. Resist the urge to add more because you think the dough is too sticky. Lomper should be soft and almost velvety in texture when baked.
Divide the batter into 14 balls and roll out into about 20 cm/10-inch circles (about 1/2 cm or 1/4 inch thick). Place onto a 12-inch dry skillet (or if you have a lefse griddle even better) or a grill on medium-high heat and cook until you get dark spots on both sides.
Place the lomper on top of each other on a plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel.
The fresh potato smell and the softness and freshness of the lomper truly is irresistible and can’t compare to anything you will get in the supermarket!
What are you waiting for? Go on and make!