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ebrbetty

Potato Flour Question

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I've been using potato flour for a few years, so I think I can offer some insight here, though this information repeats a little of what has been posted.

As noted, Potato Flour and Potato Starch are not the same. However, some brands use very confusing labelling. This can ruin dinners, as the two products are NOT equivalant.

My preferred brand is Bob's Red Mill Potato Flour (link below). It thickens more or less like flour, but you don't have to add it to a roux first. I have a metal shaker with a metal mesh screen on top that I use to sprinkle it very finely over hot foods and find this invaluable. It will lump at first, but unlike flour, the lumps will smooth out in a few minutes. It thickens well, but like flour, takes quite a lot to do the job. It's slightly off white in colour and if you taste it on your finger, it has a very faint potato taste. It's fantastic for cream soups, gravies and stews. It makes sauces slightly more opaque and just the tiniest bit grainy (as though you'd added mashed potatoes, but NOT as grainy as instant mash).

The Club House brand is labelled as Potato Flour, but that's not true (as noted by others)! It's clearly potato starch. You can tell the moment you look at it. It's snowy white and fine like corn starch. If you taste it, it's devoid of flavour. Based on the box label, I made the error of sprinkling it on a stew without premixing with water. Bad idea. I got tons of lumps of gelatinous goo on the bottom. It thickens like cornstarch and is more suitable for asian dishes like sweet and sour sauce. It made a horrendous stew (beef stew gravy should not be shiny and gluey), and I used only a tiny amount. It was heartbreaking as I used top quality organic free range beef, good bordeax, and organic veg, and the stew turned out lousy due to this mislabelled product. I'm quite ticked that club house misnames this stuff but I should have known better when I saw the colour. Anyway, I hope someone learns from my error.

The moral -- ignore the labelling because there does not yet seem to be a standard for what to call these products. Go by your observations. If it's off white and looks like flour, it's potato flour. If it's snow white and fine like corn starch, it's potato starch. If you have been accustomed to cooking with wheat flour and corn starch, you'll understand that there is a very big difference between how the two work, and why you cannot really interchange the two. I've always found gravies made with cornstarch to be offputting as well. Like corn starch, potato starch seems to need to be mixed with cold water before using, and only a TINY amount is needed. Potato flour, however, is unique in that you can sprinkle it on hot food without premixing. Consider getting a shaker with a fine screen and don't panic if you see a few lumps. I know, flour lumps never go away, but these will.

NOTE: turns out wheat is not my problem so I can eat it without problems, BUT, I continue to use potato flour all the time from my wheat-free days as I find it's superior for soups and stews. Try the recipe on the bag for basic potato soup to get started. It's a fantastic product for any kitchen, and really helps you make a lot of entrees wheat free without the nasty corn starch goo.

This is the only stuff I'll buy: http://www.bobsredmill.com/product.php?pro...=107&page=2

You can order online, or find out where it's sold near you.

I hope this helps!

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