Lomper are soft flatbreads, about the size of a dessert plate, made from potatos, flour and a little salt. During the Napoleonic Wars, grain imports from Denmark were blockaded from coming into Norway. Therefore, flour was rationed and potatoes became more widely used. As a result, women began mixing smaller amounts of flour with larger amounts of cooked, mashed potatoes resulting in these type of soft flatbreads. Lomper (also known as potetkaker) are considered to be a small variety of potato-based lefse.
Today, lomper are widely served with savory or sweet fillings. In particular, you’ll find pølse i lompe or “a hot dog wrapped in a lompe” all throughout the country. In fact, during Norway’s Constitution Day on 17 May, around 13 to 16 million sausages are consumed (the most of any other day of the year), which averages to about 2.5 sausages per person. When served, the choice is between a bun or a lomper.
This recipe comes from my North Wild Kitchen Cookbook, which is full of inspiring and traditional Norwegian dishes. Lomper is incredibly versatile and you can add in herbs, spices and extra flavorings for a little more oomph, if desired. It’s important to start with smooth mashed potatoes, so I recommend using a ricer if you have one. You can also use spelt flour instead of barley or rye. If you wish to use 100% all-purpose flour just beware that the lomper will be tougher, so start with a little less flour when making the dough. When I have tomatoes lying around, I like to make my Lomper with Carmelized Onions and Roasted Tomatoes.
Lomper (Soft Potato Flatbreads)
Makes about 15
- 2 pounds (900 g) starchy potatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (90 g) sifted all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (90 g) fine barley or fine rye flour
In a large pot, cover the potatoes with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes and cool slightly. Peel the potatoes and, together with the salt, run through a ricer into a large bowl or mash by hand until completely smooth. Mix in the flours; the dough should be pliable but not dry.
Divide the dough into 2 ounce (56 g) balls—there should be about 15.
On a floured surface, use a rolling pin to gently roll out each ball of dough into an 8-inch (20 cm) round, adding more flour as needed. Use a plate or bowl to help shape the rounds into even circles or leave them as is for a more rustic look. Use a soft-bristled brush to brush off any excess flour then use a fork to poke a couple holes in the dough to prevent it from bubbling up while cooking.
Heat a takke to medium-high heat or place a large frying pan directly on the stove over medium-high heat. Put the fan on and open a window if possible. Gently place 1 lompe on the dry, hot takke or pan and cook for about 30 seconds or until golden brown on the bottom. Flip the lompe and cook for 30 seconds until golden brown on the other side. Place the cooked lompe on a plate and cover completely with plastic wrap, followed by a tea towel to keep the lompe soft and moist. Brush any excess flour from the takke or pan so it doesn’t burn. Continue making lomper, using the remaining dough and piling them on top of each other under the plastic wrap and tea towel. The lompe can be served immediately or wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 5 days.