Vegetables

How to bake potatoes in the oven

Prep time 45 minutes | Cook time 1 hour 20 minutes
serves 4 people

Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed


Published April 17 2020
Updated April 24 2020

Grounding and stabilising, baked potatoes are deeply satisfying to the system. And now, as winter seems to have arrived, we’re eating more of these straight from the oven. These potatoes make the perfect addition to bowls and salads — or just vegan mayonnaise if you want. This dish also looks like a very impressive starter when you serve these for friends, these have made several appearances at our Tuesday night gatherings.

Ingredients

1 kg potatoes for baking, we used Agria
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups filtered water
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt

Method

Scrub your potatoes if required, then cut into approximately 2.5 cm or 1-inch pieces — they don’t need to be perfect. Then pick your potatoes all over with a fork, twice per potato will suffice.

Over medium-high heat place potatoes into a pot, cover with white vinegar, a sprinkle of sea salt and boil for 15-20 minutes until tender. Once done, leave them to sit in the vinegar for 5 or so minutes.

Drain your potatoes and let sit for 10 or so minutes. Preheat your oven to 180℃ and coat the bottom of a baking tray with olive oil.

Once your potatoes have cooled, place onto your tray and bake the potatoes for at least an hour, and up to an additional 20 minutes after that. Timing depends on how crispy you want your potatoes.

Sprinkle with more sea salt, and serve immediately with whatever you’re feeling in the mood for. We added these to our lentil potato salad and generous amounts of garlic tahini dressing.

Baked potatoes, your new favourite for grounding down

Potatoes provide protein, fibre and offer a wide variety of vitamins and minerals from the depths of the soil in which they grow. And for me, are an example of a highly accessible food that when prepared well are totally delicious.

And while supermarkets here would suggest there are three varieties of potatoes, this is simply not the case. There are many, and you will even find more depending on where you are. For crispy baked potatoes you need a floury or fluffy potato — starchy potatoes. I have baked potatoes that were not intended for baking — avoid the disappointment. These potatoes are low in water content and super starchy.

— If you live in New Zealand as I do, the most common varieties available would be Agria, Fianna and Red Jackets. This varietal guide from Wilcox is quite helpful.

— And for those in Australia, you’ll want either Dutch Cream, Desiree, Coliban or Sebago varieties.

— In the United States, according to HuffPost, you would be wanting to find yourself some Idaho Russet or Katahdin varieties.

— If you are reading from France, either La Noirmoutier, La Samba or La Franceline. Grenailles are also very good.

— And in the United Kingdom, Fianna, Golden Wonder, Vivaldi, Pentland Dell and Yukon Gold are all ideal. Elsewhere, what potato varieties are available to you?

There are SO MANY. Send us an email so we can add them here.

Tips for the crispiest baked potatoes

— Yes, the entire process is more time-intensive however, these are very good potatoes. Boiling ensures that the inside of your potato will be cooked and the outside brown and crispy.

— And boil them with lots of salt, a good couple of tablespoons. This creates a fluffy, dreamy interior, and the flavour is much better.

— If you can bake for the full hour and twenty. You’ll end up with a crispier potato.

— Create space between your potatoes on the tray. You’ll end up with a crispier potato. Bake on two separate trays if your oven allows.

— Baking time is also not absolute. At the hour mark, you will need to check your potatoes as results will vary depending on your oven, the size of your potatoes, their distance from one another in the tray, amongst other things.

— And salt straight from the oven, salt generously, and salt while your potatoes are still hot and fatty. And buy the best quality salt that you can. My favourites are Maldon — Smoked or Original and Celtic Sea Salt.

And how long can baked potatoes last in the fridge?

I would say, up to 4 days, enough for your meal prep routine. They won’t be the same once reheated, they are still good though. Science changed my perception on eating reheated potato, you end up with more resistant starch — a fibre that feeds and nourishes the good bacteria in your gut. Chilling potatoes can increase the resistant starch content by 55% which has implications for reducing your glycemic load. And if this interests you, read this short article here.

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