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    The Perfect Baked Potato

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    The Perfect Baked Potato

    Ingredients

    • Large, even-sized potatoes
    • Coarse sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Grated cheese
    • Cream
    • Herbs

    Method

    1. Select even-sized large potatoes weighing 225-275g - Maris Piper, King Edward, Desirée or Cara are especially good varieties for baking. Scrub and prick in several places with a fork.
    2. For crisp skins, leave as they are or roll, while still damp, in coarse sea salt. Wrapping potatoes in foil keeps them moist and will soften the skins.
    3. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet, spacing them apart so they do not touch. Or for quickness, cook on a potato baker - a gadget with spikes.
    4. A baking temperature of 220°C, gas mark 7 is best. Bake for 1-1 1/2 hours according to size. Test by squeezing, the potato will feel soft. Several potatoes baked at the same time take longer. Alternatively, bake at 170°C, gas mark 3 with a casserole for 2-2½ hours.
    5. With a sharp knife, make a deep cross on top and press firmly in a cloth until all four points open out. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and top with butter.
    6. Or cut the potato in half lengthways, scoop out the soft potato into a bowl, (put the skins back into the oven to crisp up) and mash with seasoning, then add grated cheese, cream or herbs and spoon back into the skins for serving.
    7. Do not cover baked potatoes that are being kept hot for serving as they go soft.

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