How to Make Potato Flour at Home
Potato flour is a rather special variety of flour that has multiple uses in the culinary world. Bakers use it to get the moistest bread which has a long shelf life or at times it is used as a thickener for smooth and creamy sauces or gravies and even soup.
What makes potato flour such a good item is its moisture retaining properties which results in very soft and moist bread and the like. This certain type of flour lasts for about 6-8 months in the pantry. And as it is made from potatoes, you can add it to certain dishes that you feel could use the earthy and potato-y flavor to give the dish an extra edge and an even better taste.
One mistake that most make though is confusing potato flour with potato starch. However, you should know, both are widely different things with separate uses. Potato flour is made from dehydrated potatoes that are later pulverized to form the flour. On the other hand, potato starch is made only from the starch extracted from the potatoes.
Their production processes are widely different and so are their appearances. Potato starch more or less feels and resembles cornstarch with a signature white color while potato flour has the texture and look of flour and a creamy, off-white color. Since they are so dissimilar to one another, it is obvious that they cannot be the same thing or even be substitutes of each other.
Potato flour is definitely available in markets and stores with a variety of brands at hand but like most commodities, it is not available everywhere. However, the good news is that potato flour can be made at home. And as we all know it, all homemade things made from scratch always taste fresher and better.
It is definitely healthier since you get to decide what to throw in it and what not to. Whether you plan to make it yourself to eat healthier or you want to try something new for a change, it does not matter because making it is fairly simple. So, stick with us to know how to make the perfect potato flour at home.
Making Potato Flour
Before we get down to the business of making gluten-free potato flour, you need to know how much potato will yield how much flour. Your potatoes can vary in sizes but eventually, a pound of potatoes will give you 2.8 cups of potato flour approximately.
Although it may seem quite a small amount for a whole pound of potatoes but since it involves dehydrating the potatoes, there is no doubt the finished product will be so little. Buy potatoes according to the amount you plan to use after you calculate using the measurements given above.
As for choosing the type of potato, the shape or size does not really matter. Just making sure that it is fresh will do. Some people like to use sweet potatoes too. In addition to the potato-like flavor, it has a sweetness to it which tastes just as great.
Follow the easy steps listed below to make your own potato flour:
- Rinsing the potatoes
The first and foremost task is to make sure your store-bought or harvested potatoes are rinsed properly. Wash away the dirt and earth from them as much as you can. This is important because while making potato flour, we do not peel the skin. The skin forms a part of the flour. Hence, it is important that the potatoes are washed properly to avoid certain health hazards.
- Chopping the potatoes
After the potatoes have been washed, dice the potatoes with their skin on. You can chop them into small or medium sized cubes. Doing this will save you time and make sure that the potatoes get cooked faster with ease, unlike whole potatoes which will take more time to soften and get cooked. Also, it will definitely be easier to mash them later on whether you plan to use a food processor or a potato masher.
- Rinsing the potatoes again
Once the potatoes have been chopped to an appropriate size, it is time to rinse them again. Giving the potatoes a good wash, a second time will help to get rid of some of the starch inside the potatoes. However, starch is an important component of potato flour and over washing them or soaking those in water for a long while will get rid of too much starch. Hence, avoid doing these because without starch, the potato flour would be useless.
- Cooking the potatoes
For this step, you may use a pressure cooker or an ordinary pot or a deep saucepan. Fill the container with an adequate amount of water to boil your potatoes. The amount of water and time needed to complete this step will vary from person to person since we may all be using a different amount of potatoes.
Dump the chopped and diced potato cubes in the water and boil them using the medium setting of your stove. Wait for them to become tender. You may use a fork to check if the potatoes are done. Then take them off the heat and drain the water away from the potato cubes using a colander.
Set them aside for a while in order to cool them and get rid of excess water and moisture.
- Mashing the potatoes
Prepare yourself to mash the potatoes when they have cooled to a lukewarm temperature.
Dehydrating the potatoes in diced form would have taken a lot longer and then powdering them would have been equally difficult. Hence, using a utensil or appliance of your preference, mash the potatoes into a fine paste.
You may use a food processor for this or a classic potato masher, whatever works best for you. But make sure the potatoes are mashed properly. The finer and smoother it will be, the better and easier it will be to turn them into flour. While using a potato masher, make sure there are no lumps or chunks remaining in the potato.
- Dehydrating the potatoes
For this step, you will need a dehydrator. Making potato flour without this is unheard of. If you do not have one and plan to back off, let us tell you that spending your money on a dehydrator will be rather beneficial for you and definitely worth it.
Besides making potato flour, you would be able to make your own yogurt, jerky and dry your nuts to a perfect crisp. Dehydrators also help preserve food for longer and it really is very inexpensive.
If you already have one, you know how useful this machine is. Place baking sheets on the trays to make sure that the potato mash does not drop through the trays. Then continue putting your mash on the sheet and spread it flat out. Spreading it out is very important if you want the whole mash completely and evenly dehydrated.
When you are through with this, set your dehydrator at 120-degree Fahrenheit or 49 degree Celsius. Let the mash dry in the machine for 12-20 hours which is the usual time period. How much time will be required will differ from person to person depending on the amount of moisture in the potato mash.
When 12 solid hours have passed, check the machine once in a while to see if the potatoes are done. If the mash appears very hard and solid as though it had been frozen, the mashed potatoes are done.
- Powdering the dried mashed potatoes
Even though they look hard and solid, break the disc of mashed potatoes into tiny pieces that can be ground into a fine powder. Transfer the pieces into a blender and take turns blending and scraping the sides of the blender so that all of the pieces are pulverized properly. It may take a little while to grind the pieces but eventually, it will turn to powder.
If your mashed potato batch had been quite a large one, do the pulverizing in separate batches. Just make sure each batch is ground to have the same finish and texture.
Feel free to use a food processor although it will not give you the same finely-ground flour that the blender will give you. Though in the end, it all depends on what you plan to use it for and what the recipe calls for you to do.
Substitute For Potato Flour
Cornstarch is a suitable substitute for potato flour as it serves the same purpose as potato flour – retaining moisture in baked goods and thickening soups and sauces. However, cornstarch will definitely not have the potato-y flavor of potato flour and it will be stark white in color. So, if you replace the two in a recipe, it will not taste precisely like it would if the potato flour was added. In simpler words, it will not have the subtle potato flavor of the flour.
Also, the color will be much paler in case of baked goods. For recipes that include yeast, you can substitute potato flour with cornstarch in a 1:1 volume ratio.
- All-purpose flour
This type of flour can also be a substitute for potato flour while baking, though it definitely is not the best replacement. All-purpose flour will not give your bread the moisture and unique taste of potato flour and will definitely lack color (and it is not gluten-free).
When replacing the two, add less water to the all-purpose flour than the recipe requires because it cannot absorb as much water like potato flour. You may need to add extra all-purpose flour to the dough and knead it carefully to make it less sticky but still soft.
Replace the potato flour with all-purpose flour in a volume ratio of 1:1. As mentioned before, the baked goods will be drier, lack the potato-y flavor and be prone to staling a lot faster.
- Mashed potatoes
Yes, even this is possible. Surprising right? However, mashed potatoes can only be used in place of potato flour while making bread or rolls with yeast. Nonetheless, they give the dough adequate moisture and great taste but finding the best proportion for the components in the dough is the hard part.
Working with dough that has mashed potatoes is also very difficult as it is sticky and there is a high chance the bread may collapse or crumble really fast. Also, it works better with rolls than it does with bread as it is greater in size.
Substitute every ¼ cup of potato flour in the recipe with ¾ cup of mashed potato. Cut down the additional liquid required for the bread or roll to half the stated amount. If need be, in order to create a soft and non-sticky dough, you may add extra flour or liquid.
You will also need an internal temperature of about 200-degree Fahrenheit in order for it to bake and not crumble either.
A Quick Review
For those of you that love gluten-free goods, this may be the time to start using potato flour. What could be better than your bread being free of gluten and also have the unique potato flavor to it? So, make use of that potato flour and start making dishes that call for this particular type of flour in its recipe. And guess what? It will be much healthier and fresher now that you yourself know how to make it from scratch.
Of course, it can be used outside of baking in sauces and gravies, giving them a creamy, smooth texture. Therefore, put your culinary skills to the test and try making potato flour and dishes with it by yourself!