Crispy Baked Pommes Frites
In honor of National Fry Day (I know, it was yesterday and I’m late to the game), I’m sharing my method for making crispy, fluffy, delicious baked french fries that will satisfy any fry-connoiseur’s demands. I can say this because I myself am addicted to fries.
Now, I’m not saying that baked fries are anywhere near as good as those twice-fried in duck fat, but for a “healthy” homemade version, these are the crème de la crème. Over the years I have tried many different recipes trying to get a fry that has a crispy outside and creamy inside like true french fries but always failed. The reason why this recipe works so well is because it combines many processes together to produce the perfect final product: crispy golden brown on the outside with a light and airy fluffy center. It may seem like a lot of steps but I promise, it is well worth it.
Not much is needed, just potatoes, olive oil and salt, plus whatever seasoning you’d like on your fries. I chose to add some fresh rosemary to mine but you could use cajun seasoning, garlic, paprika, herbs or anything else you’re craving at the moment. I also suggest using Yukon Gold potatoes, not Idaho Russet potatoes. Yukon Golds have more flavor than Russets while still having enough starch to give you a tender inside.
While you can buy special french fry cutters, I prefer the old-fashioned method: cutting the fries by hand. It really doesn’t take more than a few minutes and it allows you to adjust the size of the fry easily. Plus, who really has room in their kitchen for yet another gadget? If you decide to peel the potatoes (I always do simply because the skin, even with a good washing, can hold on to molds), peel them first and then cut a slice off one side in order to give the potato a flat, steady surface for cutting.
Next, place your fries in a bowl of cold water and let sit for 30 minutes. By soaking the potatoes you remove excess starch making for a crispier final product. You’ll notice the water turn a mirky, cloudy color as the starch leeches out.
The first step in the cooking process is to boil the fries to help them get tender on the inside. Strain out the starchy water then place the fries in a medium sized pot. Cover the fries with 1-2 inches of fresh water and cook on high for 10 minutes. If the water starts to boil before 10 minutes, reduce the heat to a simmer. Carefully drain the fries and spread them on a clean towel to dry completely before baking. You want to ensure all excess moisture has been removed or else they will not crisp up!
Once fully dried, place the fries on a baking sheet along with olive oil, salt and whatever other seasoning you choose. Toss together to fully combine and coat the fries on all sides. Bake in a 450F oven for 20 minutes, remove and flip, then bake for another 5 minutes, and repeat until the fries are browned. (I usually flip 2-3 times.)
Immediately transfer the fries to a paper towel lined cooling rack and sprinkle generously with salt. Do not let them cool before salting! Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (ketchup, mustard and hot sauce mix for me!) and enjoy!
- 4 large Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 450F. Peel potatoes then cut into ¼-1/2 inch sticks. Place in a bowl of cold water and let sit for 30+ minutes.
- Strain potatoes then add to a medium pot. Cover with 1-2 inches of fresh water and cook on high for 10 minutes. If the water starts to boil before 10 minutes is up, reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Carefully strain the potatoes and spread on a clean towel to dry completely.
- Remove rosemary leaves from stems and scatter over a large baking sheet. Place fries on top then drizzle with olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Toss together to fully coat each fry. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Remove, flip, and cook for another 5 minutes, repeating until the fries are perfectly browned.
- Transfer to a paper towel lined cooling rack and immediately sprinkle with more salt before they cool. Serve and enjoy!
Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe! Comment below or post a photo to instagram and tag me @champagneandfrites!