Whether or not you like them ofenkartoffeln knusprig with scrambled eggs or alongside some grilled meat, the mighty potato is a staple of any kitchen and it’s surprisingly easy to get them perfect every time. All it takes is a little kitchen science, and some bicarbonate of soda that’s probably lurking in your baking cupboard (in a box hidden behind the novelty cookie cutters and seriously out of date almond essence) – it’s the secret to crispy skins.
To get the perfect, crunchy crust it’s vital that you start with a good quality potato – we recommend using a russet or Yukon gold variety for best results. The alkaline in the bicarbonate of soda helps to breakdown the surface of the potatoes and allows them to crisp up much more easily, while also allowing for more colour in the skin. To achieve a really crisp finish, make sure to preheat the oven and oil the pan before smashing.
From Crunch to Cream: Mastering Baking Soda Cooking for Potatoes
Parboiling the potatoes first is also key to a super crispy result – bring a large pot of water to boil, season with salt and add in a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Boil until you can pierce a piece with a fork with a little resistance.
Once drained, dry the potatoes in a colander and allow to sit for a minute or two if you have the time. When you’re ready to cook, place a few potatoes on a roasting tray in a single layer. It’s important to not overcrowd the tray as this is the number one reason why potatoes don’t crisp up properly in an oven. Drizzle the potatoes with a bit of oil and scatter over some salt and pepper or herbs of your choice.