Why do you put baking soda in mashed potatoes?
Just a pinch of baking soda is all you need to create mashed potatoes as soft as clouds. When you add baking soda, it reacts with the heat of the dish and the acid in the milk or cream to create small air pockets throughout the mash. These air bubbles translate to light and airy bites. Yum!
Heat the Milk (3/4 cup) and Salted Butter (1/3 cup) in a saucepan over a medium heat, until butter is melted. Sprinkle the Baking Powder (1 tsp) over the mashed potatoes.
The Mistake: Overworking the Potatoes with a Food Processor, Blender or Mixer. Too much — or too vigorous — mashing will produce gluey potatoes. Your best tool is an old-fashioned masher, fork, ricer or food mill.
Here's how to do it: For every pound of potatoes in your mash, drizzle 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the dish and fold it gently into the potatoes. If the mash is still too gluey for your liking, repeat the process with another tablespoon of butter.
They suggest adding baking soda (bi-carb soda) to the water you boil your potatoes in to help them go crispy in the oven. OK. I thought it sounded a bit weird, but let's give it a go. The baking soda makes the water alkaline, which helps to break down the surface of the potatoes, apparently.
If kept warm, gently mash in heavy cream until smooth and loose again, adding more if you'd like. If cold, heat the cream in a large pot until steaming, then add the potatoes. Gently mash and whip, adding more cream as needed, until heated through and fluffy.
- Use Yukon Gold Potatoes. They are the best potatoes for mashing. ...
- Boil Your Potatoes in Large Pieces. ...
- Keep Your Potatoes Hot. ...
- Add Fat First. ...
- Taste Constantly. ...
- Don't Add Your Liquid All at Once. ...
- Infuse Your Fat with Aromatics.
The trick to the most fluffy mashed potatoes is to add a leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda. Just a pinch of baking powder added to the drained, cooked potatoes can help make them so fluffy.
The answer to perfect mashed potatoes? Sprinkle a pinch or two of baking powder atop your potatoes before you start mashing them. Just make sure your baking powder is fresh. Baking powder and baking soda are both chemical leaveners that make batters rise, which is why they're in almost all recipes for baked goods.
The yolk emulsifies water and fat to create a cohesive, velvety bite, while providing a little fat and body of its own. What is this? You can add an egg yolk to nearly any existing mashed potato recipe.
Why do you put an egg yolk in mashed potatoes?
Only use egg yolks when mixing the potatoes.
They add so much creaminess and will give the potatoes an irresistible flavor. Not to mention that the yolks will give the mashed potatoes a vibrant yellow color and make them richer too.
Follow this tip: Begin the process of seasoning your mashed potatoes by adding salt to the water when cooking the potatoes. You won't have to add as much salt later and, most importantly, you won't find yourself with bland potatoes.
Add a Thickening Agent
This is the most common, and perhaps the simplest way, to thicken mashed potatoes. You can use what you have on hand: Flour, cornstarch, or powdered milk are all solid options that are probably already in your pantry.
Empty the cold mashed potatoes into a medium saucepan or Dutch oven and set over low heat. Cover the potatoes and stir them occasionally until they are completely warmed through and smooth.
“When you add baking soda to boiling water, sodium bicarbonate breaks down into three compounds: sodium carbonate, water, and carbon dioxide,” says Sharma. “Sodium carbonate in water has a much higher pH than sodium bicarbonate [baking soda] in water, so that aids the pectin degradation.”
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), is a chemical that can undergo a decomposition reaction when heated. At temperatures above 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius), sodium bicarbonate starts to break down into three compounds, forming sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
A potato's cell walls contain pectin, and these pectin chains remain stable when they come into contact with acids. This means that potatoes will remain hard if they are in a dish that has a lot of acid (for example, a dish you've added wine to). Salt is needed to dissolve these pectin chains.
Heavy cream will make for the creamiest mashed potatoes, but whole milk or half and half will also work. Don't use anything with less fat than whole milk, otherwise, your potatoes won't be as flavorful or creamy.
Cream of Tartar – makes mashed potatoes smooth and fluffy and helps achieve almost a meringue-like consistency. Salt and Pepper – to taste.
Skip the whole milk and go for half-and-half or cream.
Liquid dairy is what makes mashed potatoes luscious and creamy. Since it's Thanksgiving, splurge a little and use half-and-half or splurge a lot and use cream.
Should I melt the butter before putting in mashed potatoes?
A word about butter: Don't melt butter before stirring it into the potatoes because the milk solids and fat will separate. You can add cold butter to your hot potatoes since the butter will melt as a whole and distribute the fat and milk solids evenly.
In a large pot, cover the potatoes with cold salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes; drain well and transfer to a bowl. While the potatoes are still hot, using a potato masher, mash in the buttermilk, butter, salt, black pepper and nutmeg.
Do NOT add cold liquid. Make sure the milk or cream you add to your potatoes is HOT. This helps it absorb better so you don't feel the need to overmix. Overmixing is bad.
I recommend corn starch when thickening mashed potatoes as it does very little to affect the taste of your side dish. Flour, on the other hand, can sometimes give potatoes a chalky taste/texture.
They absorb liquids brilliantly, which is why they mash so well. But when you boil them in water, the liquid they are absorbing is just that, water, which can make for a less flavorful mash. By boiling the potatoes in salted milk, they are absorbing creaminess and seasoning, which makes them inherently more flavorful.
Butter helps make the starchy texture of potatoes richer and eliminates that "cling" some potatoes get when they're freshly mashed.
You shouldn't let butter be the only dairy you use, however. Consider adding half-and-half or heavy cream and a bit of sour cream (even goat cheese) to get the best flavor and creamiest texture every time, like in these Best Mashed Potatoes.
Choose higher starch potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds for the fluffiest, smoothest and most flavor-packed mash. Russet varieties mash up light and fluffy, while yellow-fleshed potatoes like Yukon Gold have a naturally buttery flavor and creamy, dense consistency.
Boiling your potatoes for a little bit before roasting helps make sure that you get that beautiful crisp crust on the outside. If you don't parboil your spuds, the outside skin will remain quite tough, meaning that whatever fat you use will not be able to get inside the cracks.