If you like baked potatoes and you like when they are so crispy and yellow on the outside, and yet dry and soft on the inside, this is the recipe for you! One extra step before putting it in the oven will change a lot, and once you try it, you probably won’t change the way you prepare this dish anymore! 😉
You probably already thought that you don’t really need a recipe for baked potatoes. Wash, chop, oil, salt and add to bake! True, this does not seem to require much explanation. Of course, such potatoes are great, but in my kitchen, a slightly different way of preparation has taken root for years, which allows you to get finely crispy and “yellow” slices of potatoes! It doesn’t require more time, if not less, but the truth is you have to complete a couple of side steps!
Potatoes the classic way
When we bake potatoes in the classic way, if we don’t toast them completely, they usually have a soft or slightly rubbery crust. J. Kenji López-Alt explains this by saying that the layer of crispy crust that forms is very thin and as soon as it is baked, the steam from the inside of the potato is softened.
To get to that, you need to boil it first, and then, with the addition of fat, mix it just fine enough to trim the edges and give it a messy look. Well, those starch crumbs and cracks that result from mixing are perfect for retaining hot fat, and are responsible for crispy and well-baked potatoes.
Many versions of the preparation of the “perfect baked potato” can be found on the Internet, and mostly all of them list the process of cooking, squeezing, and then baking with the addition of fat and spices. The differences concern the manner and length of cooking and baking, the choice of fat and type of potatoes, as well as the choice of spices and herbs.
In the notes, in the part with the recipe, I listed some suggestions for choosing potatoes and fat, but they claim that the best combo is starch potatoes and duck or lard. Just so you know!
You may also notice that I use an accelerated and perhaps “incorrect” way of cooking. If you want to eat just boiled potatoes, then it is usually left whole, poured with cold water and should be added only at the end of cooking. This will help preserve the exterior until the interior is finished. Otherwise, it can happen that the potato practically spoils on the outside, and that it is still so strong on the inside that it provides resistance if you stab with the tip of a knife. Also, if it is part of those dishes that are cooked for a long time and it is important that the potatoes remain whole, the dish should be simmered over a very low heat, so as to avoid overcooking it outside and scattering it over the dish.
Boiling hot water is best for potatoes
The potatoes are chopped into pieces (or are small), they are cooked briefly and it doesn’t matter if they are overcooked a little, moreover, it contributes to a crispier crust when baking. In addition, everything takes about 10 minutes shorter (while washing and peeling, the water has already boiled). If that doesn’t matter to you, then you can work properly.
You can prepare this dish all year round, but since this is the time of year when young, small potatoes are available to us, where will you have a better time to try it! 🙂 In this case, bake them whole, and halfway through baking turn them over and lightly press to increase the area touching the baking sheet.
And of course, if you have time, but are not in the mood to dirty extra dishes and look at the clock, then prepare the same ingredients (except water), mix everything and bake for about an hour or a little more, stirring occasionally. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s still fine, especially if you’re going to serve a meal right away.