Potato Starch v. Potato Flour

Good morning, all! So, for my Valentine, I am making David Tanis's (NYT City Kitchen) Lobster Pot Pie . He writes: "Regarding the sauce, many recipes call for a flour-thickened, milk-based sauce [...] Here it is made with half-and-half, lightly cooked leeks and celery, a touch of potato starch and a dollop of crème fraîche. The difference is palpable." Not that I am going to be palpating anything lobster related, but at the store, I was confronted by Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch and Bob's Red Mill Potato Flour. I wanted to buy/store just one container, but was intrigued by the potato flour and an adjunct to my bread making. I ended up buying the potato starch because I'll bet David Tanis knows more than I do. But I was wondering, are the two interchangeable or is the starch more sauce friendly and the flour more for baked goods?
Thanks for your help.

  • Posted by: marynn
  • February 12, 2012
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creamtea January 13, 2014
Fairway upstairs (Broadway @74th St.) has a lot of Bob's Red Mill products upstairs. They might have it.
LeBec F. January 13, 2014
i find a wide assortment of Bob's Red Mill flours at Whole Foods and other natural food stores. Alot of flours(potato, sweet potato, rice, water chestnut, etc.) can be found in small packages in Chinese/Asian markets. Potato flour is also used in Jewish baking so maybe find it in jewish markets, Zabar's?
LeBec F. January 13, 2014
yes, you could also use sweet potato flour or waterchestnut flour for a very crunchy coating. here is a recipe for Gen'l Tso's that uses cornstarch:
Lauren's P. January 12, 2014
All good answers...I'm making Fuchsia Dunlop's General Tso's Chicken and the Upper West Side is void of potato flour. Go for the cornstarch?
SarahMel February 14, 2012
I'm also making this for my Wonderful Valentine ! Off to the store now and was wondering if anyone who has made this, can give me any last minute pointers. Additionally, where can I find this potato starch when shopping in Chelsea NYC? Any suggestions before I head out? Thank you so much!
Alexandra Z. February 12, 2012
Potato flour is basically dehydrated, ground whole potatoes, while potato starch, is just that, the starch component of the potato (complex carbohydrates). Since potatoes have a very high starch content, so does potato flour. However, nutritionally speaking, potato flour is high in iron, has a bit of protein and vitamin C, while potato starch has none of these. Both potato flour and stach can act as thickening agents, but they are not interchangeable. I love adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of potato flour to cake'and loave recipes and a bit less to cookies, as the potato flour gives them a lovely crunchy surface and moist crumb.
JessicaBakes February 12, 2012
They are indeed different. The difference is exactly like you said it...one acts more like cornstarch and one acts more like flour! The absorption properties are definitely where you see the most variability between the two, so don't interchange
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