Potato Flakes vs. Potato Starch
Posted: 16 December 2010 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I conducted an interesting experiment.  I have a dinner roll recipe that incorporates potato flakes.  Potato flakes are very bulky and take up a lot of space for the amount of mass, so I wondered if I could replace the flakes with potato starch.  I wasn’t sure it would work, because my research indicated that potato flakes were made from potatoes that were cooked then dehydrated, whereas potato starch was made from raw potatoes before dehydration. 

As I was mixing the dough, it was way more gloppy than normal.  In fact, I ended up having to add almost 1/2 cup of flour before it came together, still very sticky.  After the dough rose in an overnight retardation, the dough was dry as Play-doh.  I had a hard time forming them into balls because the refused to stick to the counter.  I had to spray some water on the counter.  I’m letting them rise now, which I’m not sure they will do very readily, and I’m interested in seeing how they bake up.

My analysis of the problem is that my normal potato flakes absorb a lot more moisture than potato starch, at least with cold water, which is why I had to add so much flour. However, I suspect the long overnight fermentation gave the starch plenty of time to absorb the moisture in the dough, leaving it dry.  So the net result is that the dough is short 30-40 grams of water.

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Posted: 16 December 2010 01:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Charles,
I like to use potato for baking and I had a similar experience to yours. I got tired of always having to cook a potato and puree it. So I substituted some potato starch. Too much starch makes the dough ultra sticky doesn’t it? The flavor is not as good as real potato either.

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Posted: 16 December 2010 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Maybe you could whir the potato flakes in your food processor tyo powder them, and then they might take up less space (if you put them in a different container, of course).

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Posted: 16 December 2010 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Gene - 16 December 2010 05:30 AM

Charles,
I like to use potato for baking and I had a similar experience to yours. I got tired of always having to cook a potato and puree it. So I substituted some potato starch. Too much starch makes the dough ultra sticky doesn’t it? The flavor is not as good as real potato either.

Hi Gene: 

Potato flakes do make the dough sticky, but it’s a different kind of sticky from the way wet flour is sticky.  Potato starch didn’t make the dough sticky at all, because it doesn’t seem to absorb cold water very readily, unlike potato flakes.  When you use it as a thickener for gravy, you have to boil it.  Potato starch is regarded as having no flavor, one of its virtues.  The potato flakes really don’t have much flavor either; no one has ever detected any potato flavor in my rolls, which is the way I want it.  You might be thinking of potato flour, which is a whole potato cooked and dehydrated.  It supposedly has a pronounced potato flavor and probably behaves similarly to potato flakes in a recipe, since it was cooked before dehydrating.

BTW, my rolls only slightly puffed after over an hour of proofing; normally they jump up off the counter and chase me around the kitchen before I’m able to slam them into the oven.

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Posted: 16 December 2010 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Anne in NC - 16 December 2010 12:46 PM

Maybe you could whir the potato flakes in your food processor tyo powder them, and then they might take up less space (if you put them in a different container, of course).

Anne, good idea!

Thanks

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If error is corrected whenever it is recognized as such, the path of error is the path of truth.

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Posted: 16 December 2010 11:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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My pleasure!  I am with you totally—huge weightless boxes drive me bats !!!  Cabinet space is always at a premium in our apt., too!

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