Crispy Oven Fries
Does the phrase "crispy baked French fries" have to be an oxymoron?
Why This Recipe Works
Finding the right shape for the potatoes was key in our recipe for Crispy Oven Fries. Shoestrings were fragile and tended to overcook, while extra-thick fries never lost the heavy texture of a baked potato. The best shape resembled a miniature two-by-four, about a half-inch wide by a half-inch thick. Steaming peeled, cut potatoes in the microwave before putting them into the oven gave us the fluffy interior of fried fries. As the water in the microwaved potato turned to steam and escaped, the potato’s starch granules absorbed some of the moisture, causing them to swell and force the potato cells apart, resulting in a fluffy texture. Figuring the hotter the oven, the crisper the fries, we tested ours at extremely high temperatures. Ultimately, we settled on an oven temperature that was hot enough to crisp the fries, but not hot enough to incinerate their edges before the centers browned.
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