When it comes to one of the most well-known foodstuffs in the world, the potato is certainly up there amongst the most popular.
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In many ways, the humble potato changed the world. Spanish explorers first encountered potatoes when they were exploring the New World, and they brought this lowly root vegetable back to Europe with them. Some stories say that people in the upper classes, including royalty, were so enamored of the potato that they wore potato flours in their buttonholes.
The famous French queen Marie Antoinette supposedly loved the flowers so much that she wore them in her hair. People were using the flowers as an attempt to encourage French farmers to grow potatoes, and also to encourage diners to try them.
Not only are they easy to grow, but they are extremely versatile, making anything from the humble French fry to boiled potatoes in your Sunday dinner.
However, one thing you might not be aware of is potato flour. This is cheap and readily available, you can pick up a bag from your local supermarket at any time.
But what if you have a recipe that demands potato flour but you don’t have any readily to hand? How can you find an acceptable substitute for potato flour that won’t make your cake or bread recipe turn out awful?
Well, if you are looking to find a good substitute for potato flour, then we would recommend picking up some potato flakes for yourselves. This is also widely available and very cheap for your to buy.
However, you can pick up corn starch, arrowroot starch, tapioca starch, tapioca flour, rice flour, quinoa flour, xanthan gum, and a whole host of others. Remember though, a potato flour substitute is not necessarily the same thing as a potato starch substitute.
We’ll discuss all these other various alternatives to potato flour later on in the article. We’ll discuss their various textures and consistencies as well as how they can be adapted for your particular recipe.
But where can you find the best potato flour? What features does a potato flour substitute need to have to give you that distinctive texture that will taste no different from the original? What materials should potato flour be made from? How much can you be expected to pay for a decent potato flour substitute?
Well, if you are struggling to find the right substitute for your potato recipe, then look no further, as this article contains a list of the 7 best potato flour substitutes that you can currently find on the market.
We’re also going to give you a brief run-down of potato starch, what it does and what recipes it is traditionally used in. Having this knowledge will help you determine what the best substitute will be for your meal.
We also have some frequently asked questions at the end of the article that will hopefully allay some of your potato flour anxieties.
Potato Flour - What Does It Do?
Simply put, it might be no surprise to learn that this type of flour is made from whole potatoes.
They are cooked, usually through boiling, put out to dry and then ground down into a very fine powder. Sometimes the potatoes are peeled before being ground down, although this will depend on the brand that you’re using.
If you prefer extra fiber, then you might want to buy some flour that contains the skin. This is great for increasing your digestive health, giving you everything that you’ll need for regular bowel movements and healthy gut bacteria.
The supermarket brands traditionally peel the potatoes before grinding them down for use as flour. However, you can get more artisanal brands that keep the peels on their potatoes before using them, allowing you higher roughage and fiber content.
Being made from delicious whole potato, these types of flour often taste very much the same as regular potato, having that very distinctive texture and flavor. This flavor of this potato powder is not particularly powerful, being cooked and dried without any additional flavoring or harmful additives.
This potato has a very distinctive beige texture with a creamy color that will give your recipe, especially cakes and bread, that amazing full body and flavor.
Which Is Better - Potato Flour Or Potato Starch?
There are some very distinct differences between potato flour and potato starch, the former being used whole as opposed to the latter which is simply extracted from the potato and used separately.
As we have mentioned earlier, this potato flour is made from whole potatoes, which are conventionally dried and peeled before being added to your recipe. They have a high protein and fiber content, with a beige color and creamy texture.
Potato starch, on the other hand, is very different from potato flour in that the potatoes are crushed beforehand. This is so you can extract the scratch, washing the crushed potato to get out all this goodness.
Once you have retained the starch, then it is desiccated and dried into a very fine white powder. Starch is more or less all carbs, containing zero protein or fiber. It also has very little flavor, so you won’t want to eat this one on its own, as it really won’t taste very nice!
Potato starch is usually used as a binding agent for other ingredients. It is great for vegetarian or vegan cake recipes, usually as a substitute for eggs. These give the bakes good their moisture, enabling you to create a softer texture that will absorb a lot more of the flavor.
Potato starch can be used as an alternative for potato flour, however, be aware that there are a lot more properties to potato flour. It also contains protein and fiber and will help give your cake and bread the additional lift that it needs.
Potato flour contains around 80% starch, but with the other added elements, it makes it a much more rounded foodstuff to use in your recipe.
If you simply use starch, then you can expect to have a lot less flavor and color on your final dish. If you are looking for precision and great presentation, then we can suggest that you use potato flour.
However, for the sake of this article, we’re going to assume that you have neither potato flour nor potato starch immediately to hand.
How To Use Potato Flour
Potato flour, like most other flours, is used to thicken up the consistency of a lot of your recipes. If you have a cake, then the vast majority of it will be flour, the same for bread. It is great for moistening up your yeasty bread.
A lot of bakers will traditionally use whole wheat or bread flour to retain the moisture in their loaves and buns. It makes the flour easier to mold when it is on the bread block. They are perfect for making a very moist crumb and ensuring that your gluten-free cake doesn’t turn out too dry.
You should avoid using potato flour solely in your cake recipe, as it is super absorbent and will result in a much drier cake at the end. However, combining it with whole wheat or bread flour will overall enhance the final flavor and texture.
You can also use potato flour to coat certain patties before frying them. This will not only prevent it from sticking to the pan, but it will also help to develop that crispy texture.
Potato flour is also great to use for vegetarian and vegan recipes, as it does not contain eggs or milk or any other binding agent that you get from an animal.
7 Best Potato Flour Substitutes
Now that we’ve taken a look at what potato flour and starch does, what ingredients and flour types are best to replace them?
Well, lucky for you, a lot of these potato flour alternatives you might already have in your pantry.
Now we’re going to give you an in-depth breakdown of some of the 7 best potato flour substitutes currently on the market.
We’ve got a breakdown of all the properties they have, so you can best see how they will enhance your particular baking project.
OUR TOP PICK
When it comes to having the exact alternative for your potato flour, then the closest ingredient that you can find is potato flakes.
Essentially potato flakes are just potato flour that hasn’t been ground finely enough.
They have the same consistency as the former, giving you everything that you need in your recipe for that precise potatoey flavor - introducing Bob’s Red Mill Instant Mashed Creamy Potato Flakes.
These have one single ingredient, that being whole potatoes. If you have allergies, then this is the perfect substitute to use for your recipe.
You can easily dissolve this potato recipe in your mix to achieve the same consistency as you would with standard potato dough.
- These flakes are extremely versatile, you can use them to make a delicious potato soup, coating for fish or chicken, or as a nice coating for frying most dishes.
- This is suitable for vegans or people with allergies who might have sensitive stomachs. This is great for reducing digestive inflammation, giving you everything that you need for regular bowel movements.
- The prep time - this will take hardly any time to rustle up in the microwave or your oven. You can have a delicious bowl of smash in just under an hour.
- The only ingredient in this particular potato flake dish is pure potato, nothing more. There will be no additional additives that will affect the composition of your bread or cake recipe.
- Some users have complained that the final flavor is very bland, not tasting much like potatoes at all.
As we discussed earlier, starch is a great substitute for potato flour, as this brand of scratch is no different.
If you are frying food and want that delicious crispy texture, then you should look no further. This is an amazing starch that you can use for maintaining moisture in your food - introducing Argo Cornstarch.
This is made with restaurant quality and is manufactured without any cholesterol. If you are looking to trim out a few extra calories in your diet, then we cannot recommend this cornstarch highly enough.
- This is top-of-the-range food, with a superb texture that will add a lot of thickness to your bread dish.
- It comes in a resealable tub, enabling you to use it over and over again, the lifespan of this product is amazing.
- This is ideal if you are planning on frying your foods. It is light and will not adversely affect the final taste and quality of your food.
- If you are baking, this is a perfect ingredient, giving your bread that healthy crust that marks it out from the store-bought bread.
- Some users have complained that this starch is a little overpriced and does not give them the level of quality that other brands do.
This next style of scratch is the ideal product if you looking to thicken up your gravy, sauce or give your pie filling that additional boost.
It might not have that traditional hearty potato flavor, but it will certainly have the volume that you’ll need to plump up your pastry - introducing this Tapioca Starch.
This stuff doesn’t have any flavor, so you can easily substitute your potato meal with it and not have to worry about any odd flavor combinations.
This is a pure white color, so you also don’t have to worry about your pie turning out any paler or having a different consistency to a normal one.
- This comes in a sizable bag and you only have to use a small amount to give you the results that you’re going to need in your recipe.
- This is a very versatile potato flour substitute, you can use it to thicken up many sauces and gravy dishes. It has a fine consistency, so you won’t have to worry about any horrible lumps.
- This comes in the same white color as your potato flour, so if you are following a recipe where this type of flour is needed, then you won’t have to worry about your final dish turning out any different from the one in the picture.
- This flour substitute will last you a very long time, coming with a resealable bag that will keep it at that right level of organic freshness that you can expect when you would get freshly-pressed starched from your local merchant.
- A lot of users have reported that the packaging is very insubstantial and has arrived ripped and shredded. This will be irritating if you are counting on having the recipe ingredients ready by a certain time.
If you are going to be making bread, cakes and gravies and plan on freezing them for the long-term, then we would certainly recommend arrowroots powder in place of potato flour.
It is not radically different from any other type of flour, except for the fact that it is a lot more naturally resistant to freezing - introducing the Starwest Botanicals Organic Arrowroot Powder.
You can even use this with regular potato starch, giving you the maximum level of durability for your bread and cakes.
If you are baking for consumption in the distant future, then we certainly can recommend that you pick up a bag of this.
- The resilience - this is a great substitute for potato flour, lasting longer than most starches and flours in the freezer. So if you are batch cooking, then this is the perfect powder for you.
- This comes in a resealable bag, so you can expect it to last a lot longer, being sealed away from oxygen and other potentially harmful bacteria.
- Starch can often decay quickly over time. So having as many natural preservatives in it as possible will help it stay fresh.
- This comes in a similar white powdered substance as potato starch and flour, so you won’t have to worry about it radically altering the composition of your soup, bread or cake.
- Some users have complained that the packaging for this arrowroot powder is not that substantial.
If you don’t have any potato flour to add to your bread or cake mix, then you can always have some all-purpose flour to fill in the gaps.
This type of flour gives you everything that you need to absorb as much water as possible and a very nice and pliable dough - introducing the King Arthur Gluten-free Flour.
- The gluten-free mixture will be great for coeliacs who want to keep their digestion free from inflammation.
- This comes in exactly the same texture as potato flour, allowing you to handle it with much the same precision.
- This will give you pliable dough and absorb plenty of moisture - if you are making a batch of loaves then this will be a great product to buy as it comes in a large 3-pound bag.
- Your loaf might not be as crisp as if you were using potato flour, as this flour does not absorb as much moisture.
But why go with something traditional? You can use rice flour, which is both natural, light and will give your final baked goods that subtle sweetness.
This will be great if you’re making cakes. It is also gluten-free, so perfect for coeliacs, as well as vegetarians and vegans - introducing Thai Rice Flour.
- This has a gentle sweet taste that will be perfect for cakes and muffins. It will also reduce the amount of added sugar.
- It is suitable for those with dietary and digestive ailments, coming with no nuts or gluten. It is also suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
- Make sure that you don’t buy glutinous flour, as this is very different from this type of rice.
This final type of flour is probably one that we’ve all heard of: quinoa.
This very tasty seed is not only free of gluten, but it contains a very high protein content, which is perfect if you want to build muscle and might be looking to bake a bread that will get you healthy - introducing the Livekuna Premium Organic Quinoa Flour.
- With a high volume of protein, this is a great alternative to wheat flour.
- This is great to use in combination with other flours, particularly wheat, which will give you a very increased thickness and body.
- This is not widely available in stores, so you might find yourself having to shop around at health food stores.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Potato Flour Contain Gluten?
Potato flour does not contain any gluten, which makes it an ideal flour to use for celiacs.
You can’t use just potato flour alone, so you should just use it to reduce the overall gluten content of your baked goods.
Can you substitute regular flour for potato flour?
You can substitute regular flour for potato flour when baking a number of sweet and savory goods.
Potato flour is a particularly good substitute if you wish to make something gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan because it doesn’t contain gluten or any binding products made from animals such as egg or milk.
Potato flour does tend to be more drying than regular flour though.
What does potato flour do in baking?
Like most flours, potato flour is used to thicken foods and is often used in recipes to alter the consistency of mixtures.
Potato flour can be used to coat things before frying to give them a nice crispy texture while stopping them from sticking to the pan and burning.
It is particularly popular when baking vegetarian and vegan recipes because it doesn’t contain any binding products that come from animals, such as egg or milk.
The only downside of using potato flour in baking is it can be very drying because it’s super absorbent. So, you should avoid using it in recipes where you desire a more moist outcome like with cakes, for example. That’s not to say you can’t use it in these recipes at all, combining it with other flours will have a nicer outcome and can enhance the overall flavor.
How do you make potato flour?
Making your own potato flour from scratch is actually super easy and requires very little preparation.
All you need is potatoes and a dehydrator. To make a kilo of flour you will need around 4 kg of potatoes.
Here’s how to make potato flour step by step:
- Step 1: wash and peel the potatoes and place them in a large pot on the stove
- Step 2: cook on a medium heat until they are soft enough to mash
- Step 3: spread out the potato mash on a dehydrator for around 15 to 20 hours
- Step 4: blend the dehydrated mash in a blender to create the flour consistency
- Step 5: store your homemade potato flour in an airtight container and get baking!
Alternatively, if you don’t have access to a dehydrator, you can make potato flour using an oven instead:
- Step 1: spread thinly sliced potatoes on a sheet of aluminum foil, make sure the foil is crumpled to create space beneath the potato slices to enable the hot air to get under them to dry them out
- Step 2: transfer the potato slice to the oven and allow them to bake for at least five hours, depending on how thin the slices are, turn the slices every two hours
- Step 3: when the slices are hard and crispy, use a food processor or high speed blender to grind them into tiny pieces until they look like a fine flour
- Step 4: store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month
Can you use rice flour instead of potato flour?
You can use rice flour instead of potato flour, particularly in things like biscuits and cakes. Plus, it’s made from ground raw rice, so it’s gluten-free, as well as vegetarian and vegan! So, it’s a great alternative for those with dietary requirements.
You can also use rice flour to make bread, rice noodles, pancakes, or even to thicken sauces and soups. It’s a very versatile substitute for potato flour.
Its flavor is both natural and light with a subtle hint of sweetness which is perfect for baking sweet goods, like cakes and muffins. What’s great about it is that it’s sweet but has a reduced amount of added sugar.
Potato Flour Substitutes: 7 Of The Best
- Bob's Red Mill Instant Mashed Creamy Potato Flakes
- Argo Cornstarch
- Tapioca Starch
- Starwest Botanicals Organic Arrowroot Powder
- King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour
- Thai Rice Flour
- Livekuna Premium Organic Quinoa Flour
- Try our kitchen tested potato flour substitutes.
Use in or with your favorite recipe.