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Shuna Lydon
Shuna Lydon

Shuna is a pastry chef in New York City and author of the acclaimed blog Eggbeater.

added over 3 years ago

Hello Marco.

Your question is excellent. I especially love that you make this over and over, critiquing it lovingly each time! I do the same with everything I bake, and while it drives some people crazy, I believe that to understand a recipe or a food well, one must continue looking into its soul.

I apprenticed a gnocchi maker once, and this is what I remember being really important:
1. Bake a pieced russet potato naked - no aluminum foil.
2. Have eggs at room temperature for at least an hour before making dough.
3. AS SOON AS POTATO is ready, you have about 12 minutes max. to make the dough.
4. Have a "ricer" or a food mill, at the ready. Put potato in tea towel and peel quickly, without burning yourself too much.
5. Drop peeled potato in ricer and process DIRECTLY onto surface you will be mixing dough - preferably wood.
6. Quickly season potato shavings with salt, crack whole egg(s) right into potato, and using a sharp bench scraper, "cut in" egg. Do not knead in any way shape, or form.
7. Sprinkle less flour that you think you will need over your mixture this far, and, using a sharp bench scraper, "cut in" flour, using its blade to lift outer edges of mixture, into center, until it looks slightly less messy, and then roll it into logs.

At the point that you are making logs, dough should be warm to the touch.

That "doughy" taste is not necessarily from too much flour, although that could be the issue too. It could be about the temperatures of all the ingredients. Or it could be that the potato is starting out too watery.

Remember that a russet potato changes. It sounds silly, but the chefs I know who make a lot of gnocchi and too many french fries or mashed potatoes to count, know the time of year best to make these things. It's very easy to over exaggerate the starch in a potato, and that, coupled with the raw taste of flour, makes for dreadful eating.

Did this help? I hope so. I loves me some light and pillowy gnocchi, too!

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Marco Miceli
added over 3 years ago

Thank you for the reply! This was exactly the advice I was looking for. I'll have to get right on all these steps. The main difference is how I'm treating the potato. I'm compressing it instead of keeping it crumbly and fluffy

hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

You may want to take a look at Pasta by Hand, written by Jenn Louis. It has many varieties of gnocchi -- the potato gnocchi are the most tender I've ever made and just call for potato, flour, and salt. She also has versions that incorporate parmesan cheese, ricotta, farrow, buckwheat, etc...

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Trena Heinrich
Trena Heinrich

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

added over 3 years ago

Here's an excellent gnocchi recipe. https://food52.com/recipes...

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