Potato flour is a flour which is produced from potatoes which have been cooked, dried, and then ground. It is commonly confused with, but is different than, potato starch flour which is made only from the starch of a potato. Potato flour is typically less dense and less white than potato starch.
There are a number of uses for potato flour, ranging from Passover cooking to gluten-free baking. Large markets and health food stores may carry this type of flour, and it is also available by direct order through retailers who specialise in such foods.
- One use of potato flour is as a thickener. Potato flour can be added to soups, stews, gravies, and other dishes to encourage these dishes to thicken without adding a strong flavour or intense starchy texture. However, care should be used when using potato flour as a thickener. If it is used in a dish which is allowed to boil, it can acquire a strange and unpleasant texture.
- For people of the Jewish faith, potato flour is an important part of the Passover menu, when grains are not allowed. Potato flour is used to replace regular flour in various dishes such as dumplings during Passover to comply with the restriction against eating grains. It may be combined with other flours which are not derived from grains to create a specific desired texture, or used alone.
- Potato flour can also be used in baked goods. In most cases, it is combined with another flour. For example, potato flour and rice flour can be used together by gluten-free bakers for things like breads and biscuits. Potato flour can also be combined with regular flour in breads. It tends to create a dense, moist crumb, which may be desirable in some baked products.
- Potato flour should be stored in a cool, dry place out of the light. It is extremely important to keep this flour dry, because if it gets wet, it can turn into a large, oozing mess. If you plan on keeping potato flour for more than six months or so, freeze it to keep it fresh, and double-bag it to prevent moisture from getting inside and ruining the flour.