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Potato flour not only provides soups, stews, and gravies with a fast, effective thickening agent, but those who eat it with ample nutrition. Unlike potato starch, potato flour is derived from dried and powdered potatoes, typically ensuring that it is full of protein and iron. In addition to thickening dishes, it makes dense, tasty food coatings or batters and can also be used in baking bread. When replacing white flour with potato flour, one must remember to use plenty of liquid. This dried potato powder also only mixes well with cold fluids.
The heavy starches in potato flour usually make it excellent for thickening soups and stews. The usual recipe for this includes equal parts potato flour and cold water stirred together until they form a slurry, or thin paste similar to white glue. This slurry can then be mixed into any dish containing a sauce or broth. Cooks that try to mix the potato flour directly into food may find that the flour will only clump and refuse to distribute evenly. This happens because warm fluids often cause the flour to seize, or clump together.
The same rules apply when breading chicken, fish, meat, or vegetables. The eggs and milk used to bind the potato flour to these foods must be cold, otherwise the flour will clump and seize. Leaving the binding ingredients in the refrigerator until they are needed works well because they’ll still be cold when one whisks them together. Once this flour batter is stuck to the food, it may typically be fried or baked without trouble because it has already mixed with the cold liquids.
Baking bread from this flour can be quite tricky, even for some experienced bakers. It absorbs much more liquid than ordinary white flour and requires additional moisture to bake into soft, light bread products. Even if one does add the proper amount of liquid, the end results is often slightly denser and heavier than ordinary bread.
Successfully baking with potato flour may require that the baker add a few different types of moisture. Adding an additional half-part each of the wet ingredients may do the trick. For instance, if a recipe calls for water 1 cup (237 ml) of water, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter and 1/2 cup (about 118 ml) of yogurt — a cook could mix in an additional 1/2 cup (about 118 ml) of water, 1/2 tablespoon (about 7 ml) of butter and 1/4 cup (about 60 ml) of yogurt to produce the right consistency. Since the potato flour can’t fully absorb the denser fats, these can help ensure the bread does not become too dry.