4 large russet potatoes, thoroughly scrubbed and dried

2 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt, to taste

Optional toppings: butter, sour cream, shredded cheese, chives, bacon, chili, broccoli


Preheat and Prepare: Set your oven to 425°F (220°C), ensuring the rack is centered. Start by piercing the potatoes with a fork several times to allow steam to escape during baking.

Season: Rub each potato lovingly with olive oil, then generously coat with sea salt. This not only seasons the potato but also enhances the skin's texture to perfect crispiness.

Bake: Arrange the potatoes directly on the middle rack of your oven, with a precautionary baking sheet below to catch any drippings. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the skin and the interior feels soft.

Rest and Serve: Once baked to perfection, let the potatoes rest for 5 minutes. Then, make a seam on the top of each, gently squeeze to open, and fluff the inside with a fork. Present with a lavish selection of toppings, allowing each diner to customize their perfect baked potato.

This definitive baked potato recipe brings together the essence of culinary tradition and the joy of a meal crafted with love. A dish that's as fitting for a cozy night in as it is for a celebratory dinner, the baked potato stands as a pillar of comfort food. So, gather your toppings, and embark on the creation of a dish that promises to delight the senses and satisfy the soul.