Potato flour is a versatile gluten-free flour that you can use for baking and thickening soups as well as for sauces. It provides excellent flavor to baked goods in addition to enhancing texture and extending shelf life. If you need potato flour right away and don’t have access to any, there are quite a few alternatives that you can try. Here are some of the best potato flour substitutes:
Your best bet: Mashed potatoes
Potato flour consists of potatoes that have been dried and powdered, so mashed potatoes are an excellent potato flour substitute. They will give you the potato flavor along with the nutrients that you would get from potato flour.
The big difference will be the water content. Mashed potatoes bring a lot of moisture into your baked goods. Potatoes contain a lot of water to start with and also absorb a lot while being boiled. In other words, there is not an easy way to measure how much extra water you will be adding to your dough or batter when you use mashed potatoes as a potato flour substitute in baked goods. In some recipes, the extra moisture may not make much of a difference but it can cause serious problems with texture in others.
If you do use mashed potatoes, you will have to reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe to compensate for the added moisture from potatoes. If you want to make mashed potatoes into an even better potato flour substitute, you can take the extra step of using a food dehydrator to remove most or all of the moisture.
You can use mashed potatoes as a thickener for soups and stews or any other dish that requires potato flour as a thickener.
A decent second choice: Corn starch
You can use corn starch in place of potato flour and get some of the same benefits. Corn starch is made from the corn kernel’s endosperm, which is the part of the seed that provides food for the plant’s embryo.
Corn starch can perform one of potato flour’s main jobs, which is to help baked goods retain their moisture. The loss of moisture is one of the main reasons that bread and other similar items go stale, corn starch can help to extend their shelf life. The downside is that corn starch doesn’t have a lot going for it in terms of flavor. Your bread will last longer but it won’t be as flavorful as a bread made with potato flour.
Corn starch works as well as potato flour for thickening soups and sauces, but you won’t get much flavor from it.
In a pinch: Wheat flour
Wheat flour can play the same role in most recipes that potato flour plays, but you may have to make adjustments. One of potato flour’s big selling points is the fact that it absorbs a lot of water and keeps baked goods from drying out. Wheat flour won’t do that, but it will rise as it should and should bake fine though you may have to adjust your baking time.
Wheat flour won’t give you the distinctive potato flavor. The moisture may also be lacking since wheat flour doesn’t hold onto water the way that potato flour would. Your baked goods won’t be as moist as they would have been with potato flour.
Instant potato flakes make an effective alternative to potato flour. Like potato flour, they are made up of dehydrated potatoes. The best way to use potato flakes as a potato flour substitute is to grind them to a fine powder in a blender or food processor and then sift out any larger fragments.