Floury potatoes contain more dry matter – the part of the potato that isn’t water – and starch than waxy potatoes. When the potato cooks, the starch hardens and the content expands, which means that the skin often splits. If you’re not sure whether your potatoes are waxy or floury, run a cooking test.
Some floury varieties are Desiree, Estima, King Edward, Maris Piper, Rosamunda, Early Puritan, Evergood, Linzer, Melody, Blue Congo, Porvita and Red Baron.
Mashed potato is traditionally made from floury potatoes, although there are chefs who say that waxy potatoes give a better, smoother mash. If you want fluffy mashed potatoes, you definitely want floury potatoes.
The potatoes we buy these days are almost always washed. You don’t need to peel them. It’s unnecessary because they lose flavor and nutrients. Go for organic potatoes, rinse them and wipe off any dirt.
Keep in mind
To make sure the potatoes don’t start to sprout – and so that the poisonous substance solanine doesn’t form – potatoes mustn’t be exposed to light.
The taste, consistency and nutrients in the potato keep best at temperatures between 4 and 7°C. Too low temperatures make the potatoes sweet. A cellar or a pantry is the perfect place to store them.
Potatoes you have rinsed should be cooked fairly soon afterwards. Rinsing may have set in motion processes that make the potato unsuitable for eating.
How to cook floury potatoes
Floury potatoes need to be cooked to come into their own. They can be boiled, oven baked, or add their mild, slightly nutty flavor to gratins, soups, casseroles, mash and purées. Their flouriness means that they do fall apart easily but it also means that they absorb flavors better than waxy potatoes.
Boiled potatoes are part of our cultural heritage and are irreplaceable in a fluffy mash or an elegant purée. Learn the art of boiling potatoes:
- Use a big enough pan, the potatoes should cover the bottom. Pour in water so that it just covers the potatoes.
- Add salt (1 tsp salt per liter water) and bring to the boil at the highest heat. Use a lid.
- Turn down the heat once the water has come to the boil.
- It should boil but not madly. Estimate about 20 minutes.
- The potatoes are ready when you prod them with a skewer, a knife or a fork and don’t feel any resistance.
Remember to choose potatoes that are the same size – or cut bigger potatoes in half – when boiling them, so that they are all done at the same time.
You can never go wrong with a potato gratin. You can use any kind of potato really but the result is firmer if you use a floury sort. Here’s how:
- Slice the potatoes or cut them into sticks, which will be cooked more quickly.
- Only use floury potatoes or mix with root vegetables.
- Add more or less cream and garlic.
- Make a big batch – it will be even better the next day.
Baked potatoes taste better and are done more quickly if they’re not gigantic. The art of successful baked potatoes:
- Choose slightly smaller, floury potatoes instead of baking potatoes, which tend to be far too big (if you insist on huge ones, stick the in the microwave for a bit first.)
- Prick holes in the potatoes before putting them in the oven.
- Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 225°C for up to an hour.
Mash or purée? In professional kitchens, mashed potato and potato purée play completely different roles. Or there’s a rough and ready kind of mash that isn’t smooth at all:
Creamy mashed potatoes with butter and milk makes the perfect base for bangers and mash or meatballs. Here’s how: Boil the potatoes until soft all the way through, test with a skewer. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher, add a knob of butter and pour in some milk. Be careful with the milk so that the mash isn’t too runny. Add salt and pepper and beat until light and airy with an electric whisk.
Purée is an ultra-smooth masterpiece with plenty of butter (there are chefs who think 500 g butter to 1 kg potatoes is reasonable) and maybe a dash of cream. Leave the potatoes to give off all their steam after cooking and use a potato ricer to get rid of all the lumps. Season with plenty of finely ground pepper, which is invisible. Boost the umami flavors with truffle oil or parmesan, for example.
Or make a coarser version that often contains root vegetables cooked until soft. Here’s how: Boil the potatoes and root vegetables. Mash them with a potato masher. Add a knob of butter and mix. Perfect with a meaty, spicy sausage.
Remember to always make the mash at once while the potatoes are warm. If you put the potatoes aside for a moment, your mash will be gluey. The same goes for purée.
Make a potato omelet, Italian or Spanish style; a frittata or tortilla:
- Fry the sliced potatoes in olive oil first to give them a bit of color.
- Add finely chopped onion and fry them together towards the end of the cooking time.
- Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper and grated parmesan if desired, and pour it in (peppers, fried mushrooms or spinach are also good in an omelet).
- Let the omelet set at the edges before baking in the oven at about 160°C for about 30 minutes.
Make a smooth potato soup: For example, vichyssoise, a classic French leek and potato soup. Press the soup through a sieve for the perfect result. A couple of potatoes make a good thickener in most vegetable soups which are to be puréed; broccoli, cauliflower or root vegetable soup, for example.
Potato pie is a mild and nutty delicacy, perfect with cold cuts. Estimate about 8 potatoes for the topping and the same amount for the filling. Serve with spinach and hazelnut pesto with basil and blue cheese.
Add floury potatoes to a stew, like any other root vegetable. They absorb the flavors better than waxy potatoes. If they boil for a long time, they fall apart and you’ll get a thickened, more filling stew.
Garlic-scented soft, creamy potato gratin with a bit of its bite left.