Baked Potato with a Fluffy-Crunch?!
Baking the perfect potato has been a lifelong crusade for me; often ending in disappointment. Too many times I got a soggy interior and rarely a crispy skin. Mercifully, I pulled together a couple of ideas and am happily sharing this marvelous method. You will be baking for almost 2 hours, but the results are worth the effort and it is untended time. Just plan on two hours before serve time!
Work with russet potatoes, about 8 ounces per spud.
The 400ºF temperature and 2 hours time is what perfects this dish. You might want to vary the temperature and time, but if you don’t have the patience, go with the proven.
- Scrub potatoes while preheating the oven to 400ºF
- Score each potato, 1/4 inch deep to form a cross
- Bake them about 1 hour 50 minutes and then remove them and recut the cross another 1/4 inch deeper and push in the ends to open up the cross
- Bake for 10 more minutes, then season well with salt and pepper
Serve immediately to preserve crispy skin. If the skins soften, spray or brush on oil and bake for 10 more minutes
Potatoes are one food group that requires generous salting to bring out flavor. “Salt is what ruins potatoes, if you leave it off.” – Paul Harvey
Instant read thermometer is a great new tool. This is a serious tool with a thermocouple which reads within 1 second, to a 1/10 of a degree! It will change the way you cook. Use when cooking meat and delicate fish to a proper temperature without overcooking. I hope some day baking recipes will be updated to tell when the bake goods are done at a certain temperature, rather than use a toothpick to guess. I use the Thermoworks model, there are several brands now on the market.