Gnocchi too soft. Help!

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by streamofmight, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. streamofmight

    streamofmight

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    Hi all. Not sure where to post this, thought that here might be a good place to ask this question of mine.

    Been trying to make gnocchi, however they are always too soft. It's supposed to be fluffy/slight chewy on the exterior, but mine has totally no resistance to the bite. Am I kneading too little? Also, mine is not so soft that it breaks apart with boiling and mixing with the pasta sauce. It actually holds up quite well. It just breaks like mashed potato in the mouth.

    This is the recipe that I follow: 900g boiled potatoes to 128g all purpose flour and about 1-1.5 yolk Cut flour into potato and drizzle yolk, then mix.

    I do not knead much, for fear of overworking the gluten. Could that be the cause? Should I consider using bread flour?

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. berndy

    berndy

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    Double your yolk and add a bit more flour and then you should be all right.
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    My opinion is that it's the nature of the beast. Gnocchi by hand are always too soft for my taste, even at good restaurants. I actually prefer the pre-made shelf-stable gnocchi you can buy in the pasta aisle.

    Something constructive now. Try baking the potato instead of boiling initially. In the US, we consume our potatoes faster and fresher than the Italians. Theirs get to dry out more before cooking.
     
    phaedrus likes this.
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    I wouldn't use a recipe for gnocchi, as different potatoes have different water content, and that requires different amounts of flour. I use just the amount of flour needed to get a dough that is no longer sticky to the fingers. In your situation, my guess is you may need more flour. 
     
  5. panini

    panini

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    Hi @streamofmight  ,

      If you are looking for a lite gnocchi. Try baking the potatoes, they have plenty of moisture. Prick the spuds so they don't explode.

    When they are cooked take them out. They need to be as hot as you can handle and scoop them out. A ricer or food mill is the best way to go.

    I use a whole egg beaten a little. The warm potatoes will let the egg bind. To 900g potatoes in a bowl  I would probably use 1 lg egg and maybe a tblsp of olive oil. Mix it into the potatoes with a wooden spoon just to mix. The add, I think 128g is ok. and mix until it comes together. I stop there. I then cut in 4s and roll them a bit. Then I cut them again into smaller balls. They should still be a little warm. Then I make the logs and cut into desired pieces. I cover them until use so they don't dry. Then I dump them all at once into a pot of salted boiling water. Just a stir and let them go 2-3 min until the float. I then remove them from the water and that's it. Don't dump them into a colander. I would also not be afraid to season the potatoes in the beginning with a little salt, cheese if I have it and pepper.

    There a 1 million ways to make gnocchi. This is just how I do them.
     
  6. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    I'm making mine like you do, @panini  and you're very right about baking the potatoes. Sadly enough not everyone can wait an hour for the potatoes to be done. I found out that when boiling potatoes, it's best to cut the potatoes in not too small chunks so they will absorb less water, let them boil far over the regular 20 minutes, drain and put the potatoes back on a low fire to dry out as long as you dare; 10 minutes is OK, toss often. But, oven-baked potatoes are indeed far better. Use not too waxy potatoes if possible.

    I also use a whole egg.

    Personally, I don't think there's anything you do wrong, @streamofmight, except for drying the boiled potatoes; gnocchi should be light and fluffy as you described.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  7. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    If not bake, then steam and rice

    But I'm with Phatch - there is a lot of good pre-made out there.
     
  8. panini

    panini

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    @phatch  , @French Fries  , Sorry if I added something ya'll may have already said. I got side tracked when I posted.

    We're having company tonight and I have 3 different types of bread going. This is the first time in maybe 4 years we have a

    pretty decent crop of vine ripened East Texas tomatoes. A generous foodie friend gifted me  three large boxes of Romas. I usually fire up the crab boiler but it was like 100+ degrees outside. I spent maybe 5 hours washing, blanching, peeling and cooking those suckers.

    Sorry, not trying to steal the thread. I will add, tonight I'm doing a quasi osso buco. A neighbor trap 6 hogs last week out at his ranch, the shanks have been iced for 4 days now. Can't wait. Braised with fresh stone peaches, tomatillos and tequila gravy.

    oh, one more thing. What brand of premade gnocchi are you using. I've never had pre made gnocchi that weren't like lead shot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  9. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    My favorite was Target's house brand, but that's been discontinued for a few years now. There's one that comes in a yellow box over the steri-pack but I can't think of the name. They are certainly denser, but that's part of what i like.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  10. cerise

    cerise Banned

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    Upon first glance, what jumps out at me is using a yolk and not kneading much. It's been awhile, but I used russet potatoes and the entire egg (scrambled w a little salt), made a well with the mashed taters and incorporated it into the mix (as making pasta from scratch).  Use AP flour, as needed.  After boiling the gnocchii, you can put them in an ice bath.  Another way to crisp them up is to brown them in butter in a skillet.

    You might try using sweet potatoes, or make ricotta gnocchi. 
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  11. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Trader Joes Frozen gnocchi get decent reviews as does Gia Russa for the shelf stable packs. I think the one I've been using lately is Vigo. I've used Gia Russa before and been happy. 
     
  12. cerise

    cerise Banned

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