Easy-Does-It Latkes

star rating (23) rate this recipe »
dairy free, quick-n-easy
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 18 latkes

Recipe photo

Latkes, those salty/crunchy/smooth potato pancakes fried in oil, are a Chanukah staple. But to stand and fry them just 2 or 3 at once means time spent away from the holiday table. Thus these oven-fried latkes. Just flood a couple of rimmed cookie sheets with a thin layer of oil, deposit potato pancake batter, and bake for about 30 minutes, turning once. The result? Signature crunchy-smooth latkes, and more time spent with your family.

Read our blog about latkes, with additional photos, at Bakers' Banter.

Easy-Does-It Latkes

star rating (23) rate this recipe »
dairy free, quick-n-easy
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 18 latkes
Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, about 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • *Or substitute matzo meal, for Passover

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease two large cookie sheets with rims; we use 18" x 13" half-sheet pans.

1) Grate or shred the potatoes fine, or medium-fine; no need to peel them first, though they should be washed. Some folks like smoother latkes (more finely grated), some crunchier (more coarsely grated). We like to use the fine shredding attachment on our test kitchen Cuisinart.

2) Wrap the grated potatoes in a cotton dish towel (a flour sack towel works well), and twist the towel closed at the top. Bring the potatoes to the sink and squeeze them for all you're worth, wringing as much liquid as possible from them.

3) Shred or grate the onion finely. Don't use the finest shredding disk of your food processor, as it will turn the onion to mush; the medium shredding disk is preferable.

4) Combine the drained potatoes, onion, egg, salt, and flour in a bowl, stirring till everything is thoroughly mixed.

5) Pour a thin layer of vegetable oil into each baking pan. It should be deep enough that when you tilt the pan, you can see it move; 1/8" to 3/16" is about right. We love peanut oil for frying, or plain vegetable oil. Beware of canola oil; some folks feel it gives food an off flavor when used for frying.

6) For easier-to-clean pans, and slightly less greasy latkes, heat the pans in the oven briefly, to warm the oil. You can skip this step if dealing with a pan of hot oil makes you nervous. Drop the pancake batter onto the sheets by the 1/4- to 1/3-cupful. Space them far enough apart that you can easily get a spatula between them to flip them over, when the time comes.

7) Bake the pancakes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove the pans from the oven, turn them over, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom.

8) Remove from the oven, and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately, with applesauce and sour cream, if desired.

Reviews

1 23  All  
  • star rating 12/07/2010
  • GrrlChef from KAF Community
  • FANTASTIC method - thank you, KAF, for liberating me from standing in front of the stove for batch after batch of latkes. This method works perfectly as long as one follows the directions - use enough oil, preheat it at 400 degrees, and there will be no sticking or leathery texture. I, too, rinse the potatoes (and then squeeze out the excess liquid) in order to avoid discoloration, and I use baking powder for a bit of lift. Tips: keep an eye on them and turn them before they look done on the first side, as they will continue to brown while the second side cooks, and use tongs to flip the latkes, rather than a pancake turner; it's much easier to control them. Just remember to flip them away from you so that you don't spatter yourself with hot oil. Y'all lost one star for suggesting that leaving the skins on the potatoes was acceptable. Yuck!
  • star rating 07/17/2009
  • Barbara from Connecticut
  • This is the best recipe. Everyone loves them! But, I had a problem with the pancakes sticking. Tried it again, and I used Reynolds Wrap Easy Release non-stick foil on the cookie sheets. No problem at all!
  • star rating 01/09/2009
  • Patty from West Linn, OR
  • We tried these as I've always disliked the old way with the messy stove, etc. I thought they were great. However, I alway rinse my potatoes in a colander to remove the starch. I know that is not the traditional way but they don't turn dark and get that gray sticky look on the inside. The egg and flour was enough to hold them together. I didn't think they looked brown enough when I first turned them but they continued to brown in the oven as I cooked the second side. I feel I used less oil and still got the crunch and flavor without the mess. Thank you for the great idea.
  • star rating 12/28/2008
  • Judi Simon-Bouton from White River Jct, VT
  • Thought it was great! I agree that smaller holes on my grater would be better as mine looked more like hashbrowns. I thought the salad spinner idea was brilliant for eliminating extra moisture in the potatoes. Thank you! After years of splatter and smoke, I can say good bye to all of that and enjoy latkes!
  • star rating 12/27/2008
  • Francine from Ft. Myers, FL
  • Just tested the recipe. My husband said the latkes were better than my usual method of stove-top frying. Best of all no greasy fry pan to wash, no grease on the floor, stove, counter area or me! One tip- I lined the baking sheet with heavy duty foil so when the oil is cold I'll just carefully wad up the foil and throw away. I did add freshly grated nutmeg and pepper to the mixture. The recipe turned out so well I'm having friends over tomorrow evening to celebrate the last night of Hanukkah!
  • star rating 12/26/2008
  • Empress Chef from Chicago, IL
  • These were really easy & amazingly good. I've made latkes in many variations. These were the best. I used peanut oil. They were crispy on the outside and not greasy. Best of all the kitchen was not an oily mess and the house didn't have the leftover oil smell for days (a traditional problem with pan-frying). We are having them again on Sunday.
  • star rating 12/26/2008
  • Glenn from Los Angeles
  • Although your photos are beautiful and I followed every step, matching my results to your photos, they were the worst latkas I have ever made -- and my family was very disappointed. For starters, you say not to peel the potatoes. Well, I have a Kitchen Aid shredder and those unpeeled potatoes made it very difficult to shred. When I finally peeled the remaining potato, the shred looked more like your photo. I used a 1/4 cup measure which made the latkas unusually large. I flattened them a bit, but still, the size was off, as was the taste, which can best be described as tasteless. I think the potato peels messed up the taste. The recipe didn't call for pepper but I added it anyway, because that's always been part of my recipe. I did not use peanut oil because I'm allergic to peanuts. I used vegetable oil instead. All in all, having to bake the latkas for 25 minutes plus ten minutes on the other side mades the recipe take much longer to cook than necessary and the amount of oil needed does not make this a healthier option. I'm going back to my old recipe and I think you should reconsider yours. Thanks, anyway.

    I am sorry this recipe did not meet your expectations. Thank you for your comments. Elisabeth from KAF

  • star rating 12/25/2008
  • Pilotpinky from Bothell, WA
  • I skipped the towel step, as I simply didn't have room in my kitchen to deal with the mess. I put the potatoes instead in a colander and used my fist to push the water out of them. Letting them sit a few minutes first helped with this process considerably. After mixing all ingredients together and then letting them sit, I noticed a lot of fluid in the bottom of the bowl, and drained them a second time. I don't know if this sacrficed vital egg and seasonings, but they looked okay anyway.
  • star rating 12/25/2008
  • marcia s from
  • however one makes latkes - the house still smells of frying for days! And I havemade all varieties of latkes, including sweet potato, etc. Does anyone have a solution for that?
    Hi Marcia, Try running your air purifier as soon as you begin, to get the air moving. You can also simmer a pot of water with a tablespoon of vanilla after you are finished. Vanilla helps remove odors. MJR @ KAF
  • star rating 12/25/2008
  • Estelle N from Mahwah, NJ
  • This is a nice method for making latkes. I used the shredding attachment to my KitchenAid mixer which worked well. The latkes browned nicely and were crunchy and delicious. Next time I might use less oil in the pans. The best thing was ending up with a clean range top.
1 23  All  
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