How to Make Agave-Sweetened Hardangerlefse, aka Norwegian Flat Bread

This flat bread is very easy to make. It only has two downsides:

1) If you don’t have a cast iron pan over an open wood fireplace, you cook it in a skillet on the stove. This filled our house with smoke.

2) Rolling out the bread with lots of flour is messy. Anyone want to come over and clean our kitchen?

I ate this in Norway, at the amazing mostly open-air Norwegian Folk Museum that is a beautiful boat ride away from the harbor in Oslo.

This is my healthier, American version of the recipe they give out at the museum

1 egg
1/2 cup agave
1/4 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 1/2 cups of flour (I used 2 cups whole spelt flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, and 1/2 cup barley flour)

Barley flour to roll out the dough

Butter, sugar, and cinnamon to sprinkle on top of the bread

Melt the butter and remove from heat to cool

Combine the butter with the egg, agave, and buttermilk. Mix well.

Combine the flour and baking soda in a large bowl.

Make a hole in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid. Stir with a wooden spoon or mix with your hands. The dough should be pliable and easy to roll.

On a floured surface roll a ball of dough into a circle about 1/4 inch thick.

Cook in a dry stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Flip with a metal spatula in a minute or two or whenever it smells done (am I the only one who cooks-by-nose? I seem to be able to smell when bread and other baked goods are ready). As the pan retains heat the bread will cook faster on each side.

Top with salted butter, sugar, and cinnamon, if desired. Cut the hot bread into wedges with a knife or pizza cutter and enjoy!

This wooden church, which dates from about 800, is one of the highlights of the Norsk Folkemuseum

Leone liked looking at the old-fashioned Norwegian toys

And the bear skeleton. The museum has one of the best collections of Sami artifacts of anywhere in Scandinavia

Preparing the hardangerlefse dough

Which is then cooked on an open hearth fire. In this photo a museum employee, dressed like a Norwegian baker of old, checks if it’s time to flip the bread

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Categories: food.


  1. I’m with Casey. This recipe sounds good–love the cinnamon and sugar at the end. Have you seen the wife-savers that cooks in the 19th century used to use when cooking over open flames? It swings the pots on and off the flames so you’re not bending over the fire, where of course clothes could come in contact with the flames.

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