Discovering, Sharing & Celebrating the Best of the Midwest.

Our 2011 “Favorite Family Recipe” Contest is just around the corner.

Wow, its been three years since our last Favorite Family Recipe Contest.

That time around we were overwhelmed with wonderful recipes and background stories.  Our winner then was Barbara Myhre of Huron South Dakota for her Scandinavian Flatbread recipe and story. So once again we will soon be looking for those special recipes that are dear to you and your family. Prizes will be announced soon, so check back soon.

Meanwhile, here is a Barbara’s winning entry.

Scandinavien flatbread

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter just wouldn t be the same at our Myhre holiday celebrations without Flatbread. Flatbread? Yes, that Scandinavian treat my Grandma Myhre passed down to me. Flatbread is just what it says it is flat bread, but more like crackers or baked chips.

Grandma only made flatbread once or twice a year. I first became aware of the work behind this treat when I was in elementary school. I remember the winter day was very cold. Grandma invited me to her house to help make flatbread. When I arrived, she had the dough all stirred up and resting . The house was warm from the wood fire in the basement cook stove.

Grandma had a corner of the basement set up as an old fashioned kitchen a small table, a couple of chairs, a pantry, a cook stove, and a light bulb hanging from a cord.

We descended the steep wooden stairs with supplies in hand. Once she had everything in place and checked the fire, she pinched off a small piece of dough and began working in some flour shaping it into a most perfect sphere. Only when this sphere was to her satisfaction did she start to flatten it, and begin rolling with her grooved rolling pin (still working the dough to keep its circular shape). She used the long, wooden lefsa stick Grandpa had made her to flip the dough over. She rolled and flipped until the dough was paper thin. Then she cut the dough into pieces.

Now it was my turn. Grandma showed me how to place the pieces of flatbread on the cook stove without burning my fingers. The dough contracted and sizzled when it touched the hot surface. I continued to add more pieces until the cook top was full. After a couple minutes, it was time to turn each piece. We considered them done when they were lightly browned and crisp. Often we left a piece off to the side that needed more time to brown or crisp up. One also needed to be aware of the hot spots. We didn t want any to burn. Then the flatbread pieces were gently stacked inside a large, white metal dishpan.

Grandma always took care of the fire . She lifted the round lid with a special tool and stirred up the embers as she added more sticks of wood. It still amazes me how she regulated the temperature.

Grandma continued to roll and I took care of the baking for the next 2 hours. By the time we were done, our faces were flushed red from the warm wood fire and we were tired. I used a common table knife to turn the flatbread pieces, so my fingers were quite sore too.

There were a few dished to do, but I didn t have to stay to help with them. Instead, she found a brown paper grocery bag. She placed a paper towel in the bottom then gently and generously added flatbread for me to carry home.

We had fresh flatbread for supper! But actually, quite a few pieces disappeared before supper. I think my mom hid that brown paper bag so we would have some for later .

Many years have passed since then. Now I am carrying on the family tradition of flatbread. I have searched many recipe books on my quest for Grandma Myhre s recipe. She didn t share hers, so I ve had to rely on my taste memory. I ve settled on this one. It s pretty close; however, the methods are vastly different. I mix this recipe in a bread machine. A longer metal spatula works for flipping while rolling. By placing the flatbread on a cookie sheet, it browns and crisps nicely in about 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven. A grooved rolling pin is needed and a good hiding place is a must! Otherwise, flatbread has a way of disappearing and the holidays may be without our family tradition. You can t eat just one!

From the Kitchen of Barbara Myhre, Huron, SD

½ cup Oil ½ cup Sugar
1 tsp Salt 1 tsp Soda Mix Oil, Sugar, Salt, Soda, Cornmeal
¼ cup Cornmeal

2 cups Buttermilk
2 ½ cups Graham Flour Alternate adding buttermilk and flours.
2-2½ cups White Flour

Add more or less flour until thick enough to handle. Shape into 20 balls. Let rest.
Roll out each ball with a grooved rolling pin on a floured surface. Roll out paper thin. Cut into pieces. Transfer to cookie sheet.
Bake 325 degrees for about 10 minutes until lightly browned and crisp.

Eat plain or with butter.

To see all winners and runner-ups from 2008 click here!



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