The versatile potato lends itself to many forms. Potato flour is one of the lesser-known ones but no less useful because of its relative obscurity. It is usually made by grinding up russet potatoes.
Unlike other gluten-free flours, potato flour retains moisture well, leading to pillowy yeast breads and baked goods. It is also excellent for thickening soups and sauces. However, potato flour has not reached many grocery stores yet, and you may find yourself running out of this gluten-free baking staple.
Here are a few substitutes for it.
Potato flakes are an excellent substitute for potato flour since they are made out of the same ingredient. The process of making potato flakes and potato flour is the same—both are made from dried russet potatoes. The only difference is that flakes are not ground to as fine a powder as flour.
Potato flakes are a great substitute for coating meat or veggies before frying them. You can also use them as a thickener. They are so similar, so you won’t need to adjust ratios when using potato flakes instead of potato flour. However, because the texture is different, you may need to blitz potato flakes in a blender before using them in baking.
Mashed potatoes are useful as more than a side dish or the star of the Thanksgiving table. They work as a substitute for potato flour in certain dishes due to their similar flavor profiles and structure.
If you have leftover mashed potatoes on hand in the fridge, you can use them to thicken soups, stews, and sauces. It will thicken your dish and add a rich potato flavor to it, although you may need to use more than if you had flour on hand. Some people use mashed potatoes in bread recipes for added moisture. However, you will still need to combine them with flour and the ratios are difficult to get right because of the high moisture content.
Corn starch is made from another staple of the American bread basket, just like potato flour. It is made from corn kernels.
Corn starch has a very similar structure and texture to potato flour, making it a great substitute for many dishes. It works well as a thickener for stews and sauces.
Another great use for corn starch is when coating food for frying, creating a crispy crust that helps food retain moisture. However, it lacks potato flour’s vibrant flavor and is not a good substitute for baking.
There is a reason why all-purpose flour is the most popular ingredient in baking by a long run. This wheat-based staple is the original on which potato flour was based.
True to its name, all-purpose flour can be used in many different dishes. It works as a thickener and coating for fried foods. Obviously, its most common usage is in baking. If you were using potato flour because it is gluten-free, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour as a substitute. However, all-purpose flour is not as good as potato flour at absorbing liquid, so you will need to adjust your ratios and prepare for a drier loaf.
Rice flour, a staple of Asian cuisine, is made by milling dried rice. It is popular in gluten-free baking, just like potato flour. When substituting rice flour for potato flour, use white rice flour instead of brown or glutinous rice flour.
Rice flour works best as a substitute for potato flour in baking. It has a similar light, airy texture that works well in cakes and other desserts. However, due to its naturally sweet flavor and relative lack of structure, it does not work as well when baking breads.