Antony tips on how to make a perfect baked potato that is both crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle!
Those bought from a supermarket need their plastic wrapping removing so they don't sweat and put somewhere dark, dry and cool. They will turn green if left in daylight.
Rinse all potatoes of any mud then scrub them well with a vegetable brush, making certain to get the soil trapped right down inside the eyes.
Pricking: Prick here and there with a fork; a sure way to stop them exploding in the oven. It helps release steam, and also prevent a mess.
Oil: A small amount of oil rubbed all over the potato, will help to crisp the skin.
Salt: Salt will also help to crisp the skin by drawing moisture away from the potato. It will help to get a crisp and savoury skin.
The ultimate would be to try coating it in oil and sea salt.
Foil: If you prefer a skin that is less crispy, but an interior that is fluffier, you can wrap the potato in aluminium. However, most people would say that wrapping a potato in foil produces flabby skins and doesn't, as is occasionally suggested, hasten cooking.
Bake in a hot oven – at least 200 degrees Celsius.
This will take around an hour - maybe less - for a medium-sized 400g potato.
They are done when the flesh gives to a little pressure from thumb and forefinger. If you prefer, test them with a skewer, which should slide in with little pressure.
The longer you keep the cooked potato warm the softer and tougher its skin will go.
Nutritional analysis per serving (2 servings)
Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
To get a really fluffy baked potato you need 'floury', the sort that have white rather than yellow flesh and crumble when you cook them. Varieties such as King Edward, Maris Piper, Marfona, Wilja, Ailsa and Golden Wonder are what you want.
Evenly sized potatoes are the best, so all of the potatoes are done roughly around the same time.
The smaller the potato, the quicker the potato will cook – try eating two small potatoes rather than one large.
Those in between 350g and 400g take about an hour to an hour and a half to cook and are large enough to look the part. If you are going to stuff your potatoes, then deep round ones will be easier to work with than those that are flat and stone like.
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