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High Altitude Baking

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Commis Chef

Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 9:28 pm    Post subject: High Altitude Baking Reply with quote

I recently moved to a mountain town at 7500' elevation. I have read Susan Purdy's book "Pie in the Sky", but have not tried any of the recipes yet. If anyone has any resources, suggestions or recipes to share that will be successfull high altitudes, please let me know! I especially would like muffin recipies -- hubby eats at least one a day!


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Chef de Cuisine

Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 263

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject: High altitude adjustments Reply with quote

Hi Doris. I can't say from experience, since I've never lived more than a few miles from an ocean, but all of my culinary resources are saying basically the same thing.

At higher altitudes, the air tends to be less humid. So for pie doughs and stiff batters, you may need to add an extra tablespoon or two to prevent drying or toughness.

For muffins or other quick breads, the batter will rise quicker in the oven than it will at sea level, but the bread won't set properly and will collapse when you take it out of the oven.

I don't know of any actual conversion charts, but if you're finding that your favorite muffin recipe is collapsing like this, try reducing the amount of baking powder or baking soda. You then may have to reduce the amount of sugar you add by a tablespoon or so and maybe add a touch more liquid.

I hope this helps.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:54 pm    Post subject: My Experience Reply with quote


I move to 9100 ft two years ago and it's still an experience. I think I've figured some of it out, but cookies are still an adventure.

If you bake yeast breads (or rolls) reduce the yeast by 25% or let it rise an additional time. You need that extra time to fully develop the flavor. (At 9100 feet, I reduce the yeast by 1/3!)

For muffins, I've found that I add some extra flour and use the next heavier flour, ie, white or regular whole wheat for AP flour.

CO State University Extension is the "center of excellence" for high altitude cooking and even they say it's you need to experiment and that there are no formulas to make the change. Search for their website; they have pamphlets you can download.

I joined in the hope that I would find other "high altitude" cookers and bakers.

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