potato flour vs potato starch?


Hello, all!

My husband and I use the KAF gluten free brown rice blend to do almost all of our baking. We have found it to work spectacularly. We even used it for our wedding cake!

However, we ran out recently so we went to buy more potato starch. We couldn't find what we normally get at our grocer (Bob's Red Mill potato starch - works super well in the past) but we did find the Ener-G "pure potato flour." We bake by weight, so we thought that as long as the weight proportions in the mix were the same, we should be fine.

It seemed like they would be the same thing... but I tried to make scones (FAIL!) and then this morning we tried to make waffles (major fail!) and then pancakes (when the waffles failed) with it and it sucked all of the liquids in the batter up much faster than it should - resulting in the outside browning almost instantly but the inside refusing the cook even after the outside had long burned. The batter for both recipes was MUCH thicker than it had been before.

What is the difference between the two ingredients, and is there ANY way we can salvage our mix? We don't want to waste it - we're on a tight budget :(

Any similar experiences?

badge posted by: mrsdrake on July 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm in Baking, gluten-free
share on: Twitter, Facebook
Replies to this discussion
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save" to activate your changes.
reply by: swirth on July 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm

No, they are not the same. Here is the difference:

What is the difference between Potato Starch and
Potato Flour?

Potato Starch 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.

I would not substitute potato starch for potato flour.

Using potato flour in bread recipes gives such a nice moist effect as it does in other baked goods but you would use just a couple of tablespoons per recipe or no more than 1/4 cup for a large recipe. It helps baked goods to not dry out and seems to help with the keeping qualities.

Hope this helps!

reply by: BakerIrene on July 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Set this flour aside to make runny batters like pancakes and muffins. Add a half teaspoon xanthan gum per cup if you have it, to make the batter hold together better.

Then just add as much liquid as the batter needs when you are making pancakes or muffins. Don't add more egg or oil, just milk/water/etc. The batter will cook up right and hold together well enough to serve...and I bet you never go without a bagful of the "right" potato starch stashed in the freezer.

reply by: swirth on July 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Here is info from the KingArthurFlour website regarding their Potato Flour:
Does your yeast bread come out crumbly and dry? Add potato flour to the dough for extra-moist, easily sliceable sandwich bread and soft, tender rolls.

Potato flour, ground from peeled, dried potatoes, is invaluable to bakers looking for a moist yeast bread with excellent shelf life.

The starch in potato flour attracts and holds water; 1/4 cup of potato flour per loaf – white, wheat, rye or whole-grain bread –will banish dry, crumbly loaves forever.

1-pound bag.

WHY TO BUY: Bread becomes crumbly and dry for two reasons: either you added too much flour when kneading, or it dries out too quickly. Potato flour is VERY good at holding onto the moisture in your bread. The result? A moist, tender loaf that holds together when you slice it; and dinner rolls that stay softer longer. Try two of our favorite breads: Pain de Mie, and Pull-Apart Butter Buns. Potato flour is key to these breads' incredible texture.

I looked on the back of my bag of Potato Flour from Prepared Pantry and it says you can add one tsp. of potato flour for every cup of flour in your recipe. That would help you use up your potato flour in many things you cook and bake.

reply by: mrsdrake on July 25, 2011 at 10:17 am

We actually did try exactly what you said - adding more liquid and trying to salvage our Saturday morning waffles by making pancakes instead. The mixture refused to cook at all, unless you browned the outside in butter, but the inside was always completely wet and uncooked. Just passing that along! But you are totally right in that we will never make that mistake again! thanks so much for the comments.

reply by: Mike Nolan on August 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm
Mike Nolan

Are instant potato flakes more like potato starch or potato flour?

reply by: swirth on August 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Mike...instant potato flakes are more like potato starch because potato starch is made from potatoes that have been peeled. Potato flour is made from whole potatoes with the peelings still on.