Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
20 mins. to 40 mins.
Baking time:
1 hrs 45 mins. to 2 hrs 15 mins.
Total time:
2 hrs 5 mins. to 2 hrs 55 mins.
Yield:
12 to 16 servings
Who doesn't love scalloped potatoes? Yet, when it's time to make them, who doesn't cast around for the "perfect" recipe for this simple dish? We love this particular version. First, because the potatoes bake in an onion-scented white sauce, rather than plain milk; and second, because it makes a large amount. When you're serving a big family dinner, you don't want to run out of potatoes!
Volume Ounces Grams

  • 4 pounds round white potatoes or red-skin potatoes, peeled and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. 1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan or 2-quart casserole.
  2. 2) To prepare the potatoes: Slice the potatoes 1/8" to 1/4" thick; if you have a Cuisinart food processor, use disk #4.
  3. 3) Place the sliced potatoes in a large saucepan with cold water to cover; add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; as soon as the potatoes come to a full boil, set your timer for 1 minute. After 1 minute, remove them from the heat.
  4. 4) Drain the potatoes thoroughly, and layer in the prepared pan. Salt the layers as you go, if desired; the salt in the white sauce is the bare minimum required for flavor. If you're someone who likes a bit more salt on their food, then do sprinkle some onto the potatoes as you go.
  5. 5) To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk in the flour, stirring until smooth.
  6. 6) Immediately start stirring in the milk, adding gradually and stirring constantly to prevent lumps.
  7. 7) When all the liquid is added, stir in the onion powder and salt.
  8. 8) Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens just a bit; this won't be very noticeable, more like the difference in consistency between skim milk and heavy cream. Remove from the heat.
  9. 9) Pour the sauce over the potatoes, pressing them down so they're nearly covered; a few slices sticking up are OK, they'll lend the dish character.
  10. 10) Bake the potatoes for 1 hour, or until they're bubbly and golden brown on top. A sharp knife inserted into the center of the potatoes should find little resistance.
  11. 11) Remove the potatoes from the oven, and serve hot or warm.
  12. Yield: 12 to 16 servings.

Tips from our bakers

  • Be sure to use the potatoes indicated in this recipe, rather than baking (Russet) potatoes; they hold their shape better. Yellow Finn is another good choice; Yukon Gold is acceptable, too.
  • Can you prepare this dish ahead of time, refrigerate overnight, and bake the next day? Yes. Either take it out and bring it to room temperature ahead of time; or add about 15 minutes to the baking time, to account for the potatoes being chilled.
  • Can you cut this recipe in half? Sure. Use 2 pounds of potatoes; reduce the salt in their boiling water to 1/2 teaspoon. Prepare the white sauce as directed in the full-size recipe, reducing the milk to 2 1/2 cups, the butter to 3 tablespoons, the flour to 1/4 cup, and the salt to 3/4 teaspoon. Bake in an 8" x 8" pan, or smaller casserole, for 1 hour, until golden brown and bubbly.