Baked Potatoes Recipe

4 large russet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
Optional toppings: butter, sour cream, shredded cheese, bacon bits, chives, etc.
Step 1: Prepare the Potatoes
Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
Wash and Dry Potatoes: Scrub the potatoes thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt. Pat them dry with a clean towel.
Poke Holes: Using a fork, poke several holes all over each potato. This allows steam to escape during baking and prevents the potatoes from bursting.
Step 2: Season the Potatoes
Coat with Oil: Rub each potato with olive oil until evenly coated. This helps the skin become crispy.
Season with Salt: Sprinkle the potatoes with salt to taste, ensuring an even coating on all sides.
Step 3: Bake the Potatoes
Arrange on Baking Sheet: Place the potatoes directly on the middle rack of the preheated oven, or use a baking sheet for easier handling.
Bake: Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. The exact time may vary depending on the size of the potatoes. They should have crispy skins and soft, fluffy interiors.
Step 4: Serve
Cut and Fluff: Once baked, remove the potatoes from the oven. Using a knife, make a lengthwise slit down the center of each potato. Press the ends gently to open up the potato and fluff the inside with a fork.
Add Toppings: Add your desired toppings such as butter, sour cream, shredded cheese, bacon bits, chives, or any other favorite toppings.
Even Cooking: Choose potatoes that are roughly the same size to ensure even cooking.
Crispier Skin: For extra crispy skin, you can bake the potatoes directly on the oven rack without a baking sheet.
Microwave Shortcut: If you’re short on time, you can start the potatoes in the microwave. Microwave each potato on high for about 5-6 minutes before finishing in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

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