Gluten-Free Resource Directory

The Difference between Potato Flour and Potato Starch

Potato heads

If you’re baking gluten free, knowing the difference between potato STARCH and potato FLOUR makes all the difference in the whole wide world. For example, substituting potato flour for potato starch in a recipe will take you from light fluffy homemade treats to sad little gluten free hockey pucks. Nobody wants to eat a hockey puck! Of course, with all the alternative flours we use in our gluten free baking, it can get confusing. I know many of you have asked about potato flour versus starch. The short answer is potato flour is made from the entire potato. Potato starch is made only from the starch of the potato.

Now, let’s get a few more details about the two so we are better able to understand their different properties in baking and cooking.

The Difference between Potato Flour and Potato Starch

Potato Flour

Potato flour is made from whole potatoes (most of the time even the peel is included). The potatoes can be raw or cooked. Either way they are first dried then ground into flour.

The result is a heavy, cream colored flour with a distinct potato flavor. The flour readily absorbs liquid (similar to coconut flour in this regard), so it works best when incorporated into gluten free flour blends in small amounts. Too much potato flour in a recipe will cause the finished product to be dense and gummy. For example, a muffin with too much potato flour would never fully cook through. (Yes, that’s personal experience talkin’!)

However, used in smaller quantities, the same properties of potato flour that lead to an overly dense and doughy finished product can actually mimic gums and help hold a recipe together. It also lends a hearty texture to baked goods. This, along with the potato flavor it imparts, makes potato flour a good choice in recipes for savory gluten free breads or rolls.

What you will see more often used in gluten free recipes is potato starch.

Potato Starch

Potato starch is a very fine white powder starch, similar in texture to cornstarch. If you’re not very careful when working with and measuring potato starch, you can create quite a cloud in the kitchen! (Yes, personal experience again!).

It is made from the dried starch component of peeled potatoes. It has no potato flavor so works well in most recipes, sweet or savory. As part of the starch component of a gluten free flour blend, potato starch lends a light, fluffy texture to baked goods. It is also a great thickener in gravies, sauces, and even in custards and puddings, which typically use cornstarch. This is great news for individuals with a corn allergy or those on a grain free diet. Potato starch is also permitted for Passover (for this reason, some stores stock it in the Kosher section; if you are having trouble locating it in your supermarket, be sure to check there). BUT, if you use potato starch as a thickener for a liquid (like gravy or a sauce), here’s a very useful tip: Unlike cornstarch, a liquid thickened with potato starch should never be boiled. The potato starch loses its ability to thicken once boiled.

Both potato starch and potato flour are available in most mainstream markets or specialty stores. If you have trouble locating them in stores, a great place to locate gluten free flours online quickly and easily is the Gluten Free Resource Directory.

Now, it’s time to bake, bake, bake! :)

If you haven’t cooked with potato starch yet, try this tasty experiment: My Gluten Free Grain Free “Pot” Brownies!

Enjoy more information on living your best gluten-free life in my Knowledge section, and explore how tasty gluten-free can be in the Recipe Index!

xo,
Gigi ;)

About Gigi Stewart

After more than 25 years of living with unexplained chronic pain and a frightening array of misdiagnoses ranging from lupus to leukemia, I took my health into my own hands by seeking real, fact-based answers to heal my body naturally. Through my academic research, scientific studies and my personal experiences, I gained a unique understanding of how properly managing diet directly impacts our overall health and wellness. It is my passion to share this information with you because I know many of you are facing health challenges similar to those I overcame through proper diet and nutrition. My goal is to support your journey to optimal health with real answers, advice and tips that work.

View all posts by Gigi Stewart →

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  • Peggy Schulz: Hello, I am trying to find a doctor or dermatologist in Oregon (preferably Medford area) that specializes in DH/Celiac. After going to 5 docs over a couple years, all think I have eczema and even athlete foot or food allergy, spent over $3000 out of pocket for allergy tests etc., I figured out what I have via google! Oh did I tell you I always told my doctors I have celiac. And I always said I have a feeling it an internal issue, not an allergy. And always told them the itch is not normal, it itches to the bone! Not one ever mentioned DH! Apparently I am getting cross contamination, so now staying home for every meal, not eating out, even at friends homes. I would sure like a doctor who 'get's it'! Thank you for this site! View Post