Gnocchi

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by planethoff, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. planethoff

    planethoff

    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    278
    Exp:
    Other
    I made some gnocchi the other day using standard recipe:

    1 cup boiled potatoes mashed
    2 cups AP flour
    1 large egg

    Mix thoroughly into ball of dough.
    I rested dough 15 min.

    On floured surface I rolled into ropes, cut into 1/2” pieces, rolled on fork, put in salted boiling water until floating, leave 30 sec, drain, toss in sauce.

    They were delicious, but a bit more dense than I wanted. What can I do to make more tender? More rest? More egg? Water?
    033D3C5E-3610-4D7F-8BBD-EFEF00628BB1.jpeg
     
  2. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    3,334
    Likes Received:
    423
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Try cooking your potatoes differently to reduce the moisture and make them fluffier. Steam in the jacket, peel, and use a ricer instead of a masher.
     
    Seoul Food and planethoff like this.
  3. planethoff

    planethoff

    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    278
    Exp:
    Other
    @brianshaw I think you nailed it. i did rush them and mashed a little early. But I will definitely try steaming in the jacket. And yes, ricer.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,761
    Likes Received:
    634
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Many people bake them to further reduce moisture. You'll sometimes see recipes that comment that Italian potatoes tend to be older when eaten compared to in the US and so drier to start with.
     
    fatcook likes this.
  5. someday

    someday

    Messages:
    1,670
    Likes Received:
    441
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    That also seems like a lot of flour to me. I kind of don't use a "recipe" but let the potato dictate to me how much flour to use. There are a lot of variables (moisture in flour, moisture in potato, etc) that I think doing it by "feel" is the best way. A dense/tough gnocchi sometimes is due to too much flour or the flour got overworked and develop too much gluten.

    I like to bake my potatoes whole, in the jacket. When they are cooked I usually kind of cut them open (like your going to stuff a baked potato) and then place them back in the oven for a couple more minutes to steam/dry out. This really helps, just be careful not to overdo it or you can make the potatoes tough.

    I use a pastry cutter to "chop" in the flour and eggs as well, trying not to work the dough to much and develop gluten.
     
    fatcook likes this.
  6. fatcook

    fatcook

    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    79
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I agree with baking the potatoes. When I was learning, I was taught to bake them on a pan of salt to keep them light and fluffy inside.
     
  7. ivanthetrble

    ivanthetrble

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    At the CIA boot camp I attended I asked the question, "how to get lighter, fluffier gnocchi". They suggested removing the meat from your potatoes, put it on a sheet pan and pop it in the oven for a short time to help dry the potatoes a bit. It seems to help make my gnocchi lighter.
     
  8. Małgorzata

    Małgorzata

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exp:
    amateur
    hmmm. I usually use leftover potatoes from yesterday's dinner. Mash them with Ikea potato masher. No baking (which might be a good idea)
    what strikes me in your recipe is the potato/flour ratio. Waaaaay to much flour!
    the proportion should be at least like 75% potatoes and 25 % flour. Or even more potatoes/less flour. In my home (Poland) we sometimes use 50%potatoes, 25% potato flour, 25% AP flour. Or instead of the AP flour we use coarsely ground (450 type) flour.
     
  9. planethoff

    planethoff

    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    278
    Exp:
    Other
    It took a while to revist, but I made it again with baked potatoes and it came out perfectly. I did use a little less flour too. Thanks to all that chimed in.
     
    fatcook and someday like this.
  10. french fries

    french fries

    Messages:
    5,326
    Likes Received:
    355
    Exp:
    At home cook
    That's WAY too much flour. I don't think I've ever seen a gnocchi recipe that used the same amount of flour vs potatoes, let alone double the amount. But like others have hinted at, you don't really need a recipe: use only as much flour as needed to get the desired dough texture to make your gnocchi. The more flour you use the more your gnocchi will be dense and taste like regular pasta. The less flour you use, the lighter your gnocchi will be and the more it will taste like potato.

    In order to need less flour to come to the desired result, dry your potatoes. I recommend you cook the potatoes unpeeled so they don't become waterlogged. You can then peel them and dry them in the oven before mashing. Or you can peel and mash them then slowly dry the mash in a dry pan. You'll see a lot of water evaporate: all that water going away indicates you'll need less flour to absorb that water, and your gnocchi will be lighter.
     
  11. planethoff

    planethoff

    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    278
    Exp:
    Other
    Thanks to above advice of baking the potatoes and using less flour (I have settled on 1 cup + more as needed). I feel I can make some really good gnocchi.

    Now I have another question. How would you sauce it?

    I have done buttery tomato basil sauce and brown butter sage. What else would you do?
     
    rittenremedy likes this.
  12. french fries

    french fries

    Messages:
    5,326
    Likes Received:
    355
    Exp:
    At home cook
    IMO the best way to use less flour is to stop using a recipe. Bake your potatoes, dry them, much like you would for a potato puree in fact. Then add your eggs and only as much flour as needed to get the desired consistency. Furthermore 1 cup flour to 1 cup potato is still too much flour. Ideally you should be closer to 1/3 or 1/2 cup flour to 1 cup potato. If you need more flour that means you didn't dry your cooked potatoes thoroughly enough: the potatoes still contain too much water that needs flour to absorb it. That's a lot of flour/water in your gnocchi, which will give them the taste and texture of pasta instead of gnocchi.

    I've done mostly brown butter sage because I have a sage bush and I can get lazy like that. ;)

    If I'm not lazy at all then I make porcini gnocchi with Prosciutto and Parmesan Cream, Union Square Cafe style: https://www.gumbopages.com/food/italian/porcini-gnocchi.html
     
  13. planethoff

    planethoff

    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    278
    Exp:
    Other
    @french fries you are correct. I looked back at my original post and that was way less potato. I bake 4 russets, scrape out of skin. Add egg, mix add flour as needed. Started with one cup as I had maybe 3 cups potatoes. So ratio potatoes to flour 3:1? Roughly. Start 2:1 and add as needed? I know know the consistency I am looking for.
     
  14. french fries

    french fries

    Messages:
    5,326
    Likes Received:
    355
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Sounds more like it indeed!

    2:1 is already more flour than 3:1 or did you mean add potatoes as needed? No, start with 4:1 and add flour as needed is more like it.

    Then get away from the math and work with your senses would be my advice.

    And did I mention that you need to dry your potatoes? Don't skimp on the drying. The more drying, the less flour, the lighter and potatoier and fluffier the gnocchi. See all that steams coming out from your potatoes? That's that much less flour you'll need to add.
     
  15. planethoff

    planethoff

    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    278
    Exp:
    Other
    @french fries Again. You are correct. I am actually good at math, but my ratio reference made no sense. I now do it like you describe. Lightly mash dry fluffy baked potatoes, add egg, slowly add flour while gently mixing to get right texture. When dough forms but is still a little tacky, I roll into ball, cover with damp towel and rest for 15 minutes. Quarter ball, roll into ropes and cut into pieces. Roll on fork.
    Thanks again for all your help.
     
  16. french fries

    french fries

    Messages:
    5,326
    Likes Received:
    355
    Exp:
    At home cook
    You're welcome. Truth is I haven't made gnocchi in a while and you've made me want to make them again! :)
     
    planethoff likes this.