brined baked potato
If someone comes at me telling me they’ve found the perfect potato recipe, I am all ears. So when I read that America’s Test Kitchen have defined the perfect jacket “baked” potato I will definitely give it a try. Their solution? Well it’s a… brine solution.
You know how potatoes can get ‘leathery’ when you bake them too long? And the skin is really thick? Baking them in a really hot oven prevents this ‘pellicle’ from forming underneath the peel. The salty water helps form a tasty layer and all of it makes the skin super tasty.
A pellicle is a thin, tacky layer that forms on the surface of certain foods when they are exposed to air. In the context of cooking, a pellicle is most commonly associated with smoking fish or meat, where it is desirable to develop a pellicle on the surface of the food before smoking it.
When it comes to baked potatoes, a pellicle can form on the surface of the potato skin as it bakes. This can happen when the potato is left uncovered or not wrapped tightly in foil, allowing the surface of the potato to dry out slightly and form a thin, dry layer. Some people believe that developing a pellicle on the potato skin can help make it crispier, while others prefer to keep the potato moist by wrapping it in foil or covering it with a lid while it bakes.
The formation of a pellicle is not a necessary or essential step in baking a potato. Whether or not a pellicle forms on the potato skin is largely a matter of personal preference, and there are many different ways to bake a potato to achieve different textures and flavours.
brined baked potatoes
- probe thermometer
- Salt and pepper
- 2 standard baking potatoes about 10cm in diameter
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Preheat oven to 230°C. Dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 100ml water in a large bowl. Toss the potatoes for about 30 seconds to coat in the brine. Put onto a rack over a baking tray lined with foil and bake in the middle of the oven. Bake until the centre of the largest potato registers 100°C. This will take 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove potatoes from oven and brush with butter. Return the potatoes to oven and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes to develop a shiny crust.
- Remove potatoes from oven and serve immediately.