Thursday, April 16, 2009
Potato starch vs. potato flour
A reader just asked a good question: "is potato starch the same as potato flour?". The answer is no, so I thought I'd share this with other gluten-free readers, just in case you anyone was wondering. I'm also including a link to purchase the starch online if your local health food store doesn't carry it. If you bake a lot, I recommend getting more than one bag because you use it to replace the wheat flour and you can go through large quantities in a hurry.
This answer is from Ener-G, the egg replacement people. "What is the difference between Potato Starch, Potato Starch Flour and Potato Flour?"
Potato Starch and Potato Starch Flour are the same thing. However, Potato Starch (flour) and Potato Flour are different.
Potato Starch is a very fine flour with a bland taste, that is made by removing the potato peel, made into a slurry and watery mix, then dehydrated to form Potato Starch. The Potato Starch is not cooked, thus it does not absorb much water unless it is heated. For example, it will make an excellent gravy if heated with liquid in a saucepan.
Potato Flour is heavy with a definite potato flavor made from the actual potato including the potato skin and will absorb large amounts of water because it has been cooked and contains the peel. It is not used as main flour in baking as it would absorb too much liquid and make the product gummy. Small amounts are used to increase water, hold product together and so on.
FAQ again here: I actually use Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch and this blue box Swan Swedish potato starch which is usually slightly cheaper. Here's a link where you can buy online if they're not available at your local health food store.
PS. My boyfriend always complains when I bring starches out because inevitably they get all over the place and it looks like it snowed indoors, so be forewarned and get your paper towels ready!