Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Choose smaller potatoes, no bigger than 2″ each, try to use ones that are as close to the same size as possible. Cut potatoes in half. Arrange cut side down on a sheet pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
Add the water, enough to cover the entire surface of the pan, but you don’t want it to slosh over the sides when you move the pan. Cover the entire pan tightly with foil, you might need two layers. You want to keep all the steam in, so make sure there are no gaps or openings.Bake about 25-30 minutes, until a skewer or knife slides through easily. Check a couple of the potatoes to be sure they are done.
Remove from oven and let potatoes cool with the foil still covering the pan for about 5 minutes. Turn oven up to 500 degrees or as close to that as possible. Carefully lift one corner of the foil, allowing steam to escape. Gently tilt pan toward the open corner and allow water to drain off.
Remove foil and allow potatoes to cool just enough so you can handle them. Flip them over to cut side up and let the steam escape so the cut surface of the potatoes dries. If there is any water remaining on the pan, dab it off with a kitchen towel. (This is a little extra trick that creates maximum crispiness!)
Then, drizzle 1/4 cup of olive oil all over the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Place them cut side down again, and return to the 500 degree oven, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. This is crucially important! When you let them cool just a little, they will naturally release from the pan much more easily – like meat on the grill, when it’s done, it releases. Use the thinnest spatula you have to gently get under each potato and release them from the pan. Just try an edge first to see if it’s ready. If not, let them cool a little more. Sprinkle again with kosher salt and pepper and enjoy!