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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made some gnocchi the other day using standard recipe:

1 cup boiled potatoes mashed
2 cups AP flour
1 large egg

Mix thoroughly into ball of dough.
I rested dough 15 min.

On floured surface I rolled into ropes, cut into 1/2" pieces, rolled on fork, put in salted boiling water until floating, leave 30 sec, drain, toss in sauce.

They were delicious, but a bit more dense than I wanted. What can I do to make more tender? More rest? More egg? Water?
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Many people bake them to further reduce moisture. You'll sometimes see recipes that comment that Italian potatoes tend to be older when eaten compared to in the US and so drier to start with.
 

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That also seems like a lot of flour to me. I kind of don't use a "recipe" but let the potato dictate to me how much flour to use. There are a lot of variables (moisture in flour, moisture in potato, etc) that I think doing it by "feel" is the best way. A dense/tough gnocchi sometimes is due to too much flour or the flour got overworked and develop too much gluten.

I like to bake my potatoes whole, in the jacket. When they are cooked I usually kind of cut them open (like your going to stuff a baked potato) and then place them back in the oven for a couple more minutes to steam/dry out. This really helps, just be careful not to overdo it or you can make the potatoes tough.

I use a pastry cutter to "chop" in the flour and eggs as well, trying not to work the dough to much and develop gluten.
 

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At the CIA boot camp I attended I asked the question, "how to get lighter, fluffier gnocchi". They suggested removing the meat from your potatoes, put it on a sheet pan and pop it in the oven for a short time to help dry the potatoes a bit. It seems to help make my gnocchi lighter.
 

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hmmm. I usually use leftover potatoes from yesterday's dinner. Mash them with Ikea potato masher. No baking (which might be a good idea)
what strikes me in your recipe is the potato/flour ratio. Waaaaay to much flour!
the proportion should be at least like 75% potatoes and 25 % flour. Or even more potatoes/less flour. In my home (Poland) we sometimes use 50%potatoes, 25% potato flour, 25% AP flour. Or instead of the AP flour we use coarsely ground (450 type) flour.
 

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That's WAY too much flour. I don't think I've ever seen a gnocchi recipe that used the same amount of flour vs potatoes, let alone double the amount. But like others have hinted at, you don't really need a recipe: use only as much flour as needed to get the desired dough texture to make your gnocchi. The more flour you use the more your gnocchi will be dense and taste like regular pasta. The less flour you use, the lighter your gnocchi will be and the more it will taste like potato.

In order to need less flour to come to the desired result, dry your potatoes. I recommend you cook the potatoes unpeeled so they don't become waterlogged. You can then peel them and dry them in the oven before mashing. Or you can peel and mash them then slowly dry the mash in a dry pan. You'll see a lot of water evaporate: all that water going away indicates you'll need less flour to absorb that water, and your gnocchi will be lighter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to above advice of baking the potatoes and using less flour (I have settled on 1 cup + more as needed). I feel I can make some really good gnocchi.

Now I have another question. How would you sauce it?

I have done buttery tomato basil sauce and brown butter sage. What else would you do?
 

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IMO the best way to use less flour is to stop using a recipe. Bake your potatoes, dry them, much like you would for a potato puree in fact. Then add your eggs and only as much flour as needed to get the desired consistency. Furthermore 1 cup flour to 1 cup potato is still too much flour. Ideally you should be closer to 1/3 or 1/2 cup flour to 1 cup potato. If you need more flour that means you didn't dry your cooked potatoes thoroughly enough: the potatoes still contain too much water that needs flour to absorb it. That's a lot of flour/water in your gnocchi, which will give them the taste and texture of pasta instead of gnocchi.

I've done mostly brown butter sage because I have a sage bush and I can get lazy like that. ;)

If I'm not lazy at all then I make porcini gnocchi with Prosciutto and Parmesan Cream, Union Square Cafe style: https://www.gumbopages.com/food/italian/porcini-gnocchi.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@french fries you are correct. I looked back at my original post and that was way less potato. I bake 4 russets, scrape out of skin. Add egg, mix add flour as needed. Started with one cup as I had maybe 3 cups potatoes. So ratio potatoes to flour 3:1? Roughly. Start 2:1 and add as needed? I know know the consistency I am looking for.
 

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@french fries you are correct. I looked back at my original post and that was way less potato. I bake 4 russets, scrape out of skin. Add egg, mix add flour as needed. Started with one cup as I had maybe 3 cups potatoes. So ratio potatoes to flour 3:1? Roughly.
Sounds more like it indeed!

Start 2:1 and add as needed?
2:1 is already more flour than 3:1 or did you mean add potatoes as needed? No, start with 4:1 and add flour as needed is more like it.

I know know the consistency I am looking for.
Then get away from the math and work with your senses would be my advice.

And did I mention that you need to dry your potatoes? Don't skimp on the drying. The more drying, the less flour, the lighter and potatoier and fluffier the gnocchi. See all that steams coming out from your potatoes? That's that much less flour you'll need to add.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@french fries Again. You are correct. I am actually good at math, but my ratio reference made no sense. I now do it like you describe. Lightly mash dry fluffy baked potatoes, add egg, slowly add flour while gently mixing to get right texture. When dough forms but is still a little tacky, I roll into ball, cover with damp towel and rest for 15 minutes. Quarter ball, roll into ropes and cut into pieces. Roll on fork.
Thanks again for all your help.
 
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