Crispy crispy baked potato pancakes with fresh applesauce or hearty with fried bacon are a treat. But not all potatoes are really good for this purpose. With some potato varieties the potato pancakes fall apart, with others the taste is not right.
But that is not enough. If you mishandle the right potatoes, even then your potato pancake will be a fiasco.
Therefore, in this article I will show you which potato varieties are best suited for the preparation of potato pancakes and which ones you should rather not use. You’ll also learn how exactly to process the potatoes to make perfect pancakes.
Let’s start with the key question to create the right base for your potato pancakes.
Which potatoes for potato pancakes?
Usually for potato pancakes mainly waxy potatoes are used. Grated pancakes, as potato pancakes are also called, are really crispy with these potato varieties. It’s because of the special composition of these potatoes.
Predominantly firm-cooking means that the flesh of the tubers is semi-firm. The starch content is medium high. The more starch in the potatoes, the better the potato pancakes hold together.
Responsible for this is the strength. Because the starch sticks the individual potato pieces together and makes the pancakes sweet. At the same time, the predominantly firm-cooking varieties are easier to grate than the firm-cooking potatoes.
By the way, you do this while the potatoes are still raw. Potato pancakes are never made with cooked potatoes, because you can’t grate them anymore.
In order to understand why it is necessary to use predominantly waxy potatoes, let’s take a brief look at them in detail. Then it becomes clear why potato pancakes made of floury potatoes are rather a matter of taste.
Why you should use mainly waxy potatoes for potato pancakes?
Predominantly waxy potatoes contain a medium-high percentage of starch. The starch is important for the behavior of the dough, it makes it sticky and later crispy. It also provides the sweet taste of the baked potato pancakes.
Speaking of sweet taste, don’t store potatoes in the refrigerator. Because that’s where they convert the starch to sugar as a natural anti-freeze agent. And as good as potato pancakes taste with sweets – you don’t need sweet potatoes to go with them.
Mostly waxy potato varieties also have a flesh that is not quite firm, but not quite soft either. That’s important, too, because it allows the potato pancakes to crisp up in the pan on the outside and stay soft and tender on the inside. It doesn’t dry out, but it also doesn’t stay sticky soft.
You realize: everything you love about mashed potatoes comes from the right amount of starch in the tuber. But how bad is it really if you have a different kind of potato at home??
It is bad if you use other potatoes for potato pancakes?
It is not bad if you use other kinds of potatoes for your potato pancakes. Maybe the pancakes will taste even better then. Because every potato variety has its own unique taste.
If the taste of a particular type of potato is more important to you than the crispy, crunchy texture of your potato pancakes, you can of course use your potato favorites. If consistency is more important to you, use a predominantly waxy potato variety.
By the way, there are also some people who swear by floury potato varieties. Varieties such as Adretta, Aula and Karlena have a higher starch content than the predominantly waxy varieties Agria, Quarta and Marabel.
However, more starch always means that the potato pancakes will be even more caloric and sticky.
If you use waxy potatoes for your potato pancakes, they will also succeed. In Austrian cuisine, firm-cooking potatoes are indeed recommended, and Swiss potato rosti are also prepared with firm-cooking varieties.
So in terms of taste, this can be a real winner.
Tip: In addition to applesauce, many side dishes and spices that go well with fried potatoes also go well with potato pancakes. Learn the best combos here!