Crispy baked potato pancakes with fresh applesauce or hearty with fried bacon are a pleasure. But not all potatoes are really good for it. With some types of potatoes, the potato pancakes fall apart, with others the taste is not right.
But that’s not all. If you mishandle the right potatoes, your potato pancakes will turn into a fiasco.
Therefore, in this article, I will show you which potato varieties are best suited for the preparation of potato pancakes and which you should rather not use. You will also learn how exactly you process the potatoes to sizzle perfect pancakes.
Let’s start with the core question to create the right basis for your potato pancakes.
Which potatoes for potato pancakes?
Usually waxy potatoes are used for potato pancakes. Potato pancakes, as the potato pancakes are also called, are really crispy with these potato varieties. This is due to the special composition of these potatoes.
Predominantly waxy means that the flesh of the tubers is semi-solid. The starch content is medium high. The more starch the potatoes contain, the better the potato pancakes will hold together.
Strength is responsible for this. Because the starch sticks the individual potato pieces together and makes the pancakes sweet. At the same time, the predominantly waxy varieties are easier to grate than the waxy potatoes.
By the way, you do this while the potatoes are still raw. Potato pancakes are never made from boiled potatoes, because you can no longer grate them.
In order to understand why it is mainly waxy tubers that are needed, let’s take a quick look at them in detail. Then it becomes clear why potato pancakes made from floury potatoes are more a matter of taste.
Why should you mainly use waxy potatoes for potato pancakes?
Predominantly waxy potatoes contain a medium-high proportion of starch. The starch is important for the behavior of the dough, it makes it sticky and later crunchy. It also provides the sweet taste of the baked potato pancakes.
Speaking of sweet taste, don’t store potatoes in the fridge. Because there they convert the starch into sugar as a natural antifreeze. And as good as potato pancakes taste with sweets – sweet potatoes are not necessary.
Predominantly waxy potato varieties also have flesh that is not entirely firm, but not entirely soft either. This is also important, because it allows the potato pancakes to be crispy on the outside and stay soft and tender on the inside. They don’t dry out, but don’t stay sticky soft either.
You realize: everything you love about potato pancakes 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?
Is it bad if you use other potatoes for potato pancakes?
It doesn’t matter if you use other types of potatoes for your potato pancakes. You might even like the puffs better. Each potato variety has its own taste.
If the taste of a certain type of potato is more important to you than the crispy consistency of your potato pancakes, you can of course use your favorite potatoes. If the consistency is more important to you, use a predominantly waxy potato variety.
By the way, there are also some people who swear by floury potatoes. 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 are even more calorie-rich and even stickier.
If you use waxy potatoes for your potato pancakes, they will also succeed. In Austrian cuisine, waxy potatoes are actually recommended, and Swiss potato rösti are always prepared with waxy varieties.
In terms of taste, this can definitely be a win.
Tip: In addition to applesauce, potato pancakes go well with many side dishes and spices that go well with fried potatoes.
Which potato varieties are particularly suitable for potato pancakes?
This question is not easy to answer. Because there are a total of around 3,000 varieties of potatoes, as Wikipedia knows.
However, only a fraction of these are commercially available. You will only find some at farmers markets. In the end, the only thing that helps here is taste. Therefore, here is a brief outline of my favorite varieties for potato pancakes.
For potato pancakes made from predominantly waxy potatoes:
For extra crispy potato pancakes made from waxy potatoes:
- Bamberg croissants
And if you fancy a new look on your plate, you can fall back on colored potatoes.
Some of the potato varieties have colors such as blue, red, purple or black in their names. These potatoes do not have yellow flesh, but blue, red, purple or black flesh. This will give your potato pancakes an interesting color!
Should You Squeeze Potatoes for Potato Pancakes?
The potatoes for the Reiberdatschi or potato pancakes are grated raw. After a few minutes you will see a puddle forming in the bowl and then a lot of water. That is normal.
To keep this water out of the potato pancake dough, the grated potatoes are squeezed vigorously. If you don’t, the batter will be very runny. Please do not bind with flour, this spoils the taste!
Should you boil potatoes for potato pancakes?
The potatoes are always grated raw. Boiled potatoes are so soft that you can no longer grate them into small threads with a coarse potato grater. They would turn to mud. It’s also delicious fried, but has nothing to do with potato pancakes.
Tip: For fried potatoes, you can use both raw and cooked potatoes. Here you can find out when which variant is available.
Should you peel potatoes for potato pancakes?
The hard, different-colored potato skins get in the way of the potato pancakes. You should therefore always peel the potatoes.
How fine should you grate potatoes for potato pancakes?
You use a so-called potato grater for the potatoes. They make relatively fine rasps or flakes from the potatoes. The grated pieces are slightly narrower than your pinky’s nail, but almost twice as long.
If you have the usual four-sided grater at home: the second-largest side fits. The coarsest side makes large slices, and anything finer is not suitable for the potato pancakes either. Grating potatoes is physically hard work.
You can save a lot of energy with a good grater. If you want potato pancakes to end up on your table more often, it’s worth investing in a good grater. I use these and am happy!
Nevertheless, you should not use the food processor. Because it makes either coarse shredders out of the potatoes, or mud.
How many potatoes does it take per person for potato pancakes?
Some people are full after two potato pancakes, others easily eat ten to fifteen of the delicious things… So it’s difficult to say how much. If the potato pancakes are a side dish, calculate about 300 grams of potatoes (peeled and cleaned) per person.
If the potato pancakes with a nice side dish are the main course, you can count on double the amount, especially for hungry, potato-loving adults. Better do something more. Because you can bake the finished potato pancakes again the next day.
Conclusion: potatoes for potato pancakes
If you ask the nice grandma from the weekly market, she will probably tell you: Use the floury, old potatoes from last year for the potato pancakes. Most city dwellers recommend mainly waxy potatoes, because they are available in every supermarket and taste good.
In southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland, on the other hand, waxy potato varieties are used for Rösti, Reiberdatschi or potato pancakes. Taste always comes first – so you take the type of potato that tastes good to you.
If you squeeze the grated potatoes thoroughly before you mix the dough, the dough will not be too runny. If the first few potato pancakes still come out of the pan “loppy”, you can stir a few oatmeal into the batter.