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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / High Altitude...
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    High Altitude...

    podapo
    Thu Jan 20, 2005 7:17 am
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    Probably should be a forum in itself, but all of us at high altitude would love to know the baking secrets.
    My problem is chocolate cake.. can't get it to bake properly. always sinks in the center.

    I guess I should point the chocolate cake question more towards desserts, but it is a baking issue.

    I miss baking bread but have been hesitant to give it a go at high altitude.
    Donna M.
    Thu Jan 20, 2005 8:53 pm
    Forum Host
    I don't know much about baking cakes at high altitude.

    I have never had to make high altitude adjustments with breads where I live, but I can pass on what I have read in one of my bread cookbooks--

    "At higher altitudes, breads will rise higher than at sea level, so they need less yeast. Start by reducing the yeast by 1/4 teaspoon. If your bread still rises too high, reduce the yeast by another 1/4 teaspoon the next time you make the recipe.

    Also, keep in mind that flour tends to be drier at high altitudes and sometimes will absorb more liquid. While mixing the dough, if it seems too dry add additional liquid, 1 teaspoon at a time."

    Don't be afraid to try bread. Once you make it a couple of times you will figure out what adjustments are needed. Have you made yeast bread before and had bad luck with it at your altitude? You may be surprised that very little adjustments are needed. Bread is very forgiving.
    WaterMelon
    Fri Jan 21, 2005 5:15 am
    Food.com Groupie
    podapo, I found some info for you:

    Altitude Adjuster

    "Cake recipes perfected for sea level usually need no adjustment up to altitudes of 3,000 feet. Above 3,000 feet, lower atmospheric pressure may cause the cake to rise too quickly. The cell structure overexpands before the cake "sets." At best, your cake may have a coarse texture. At worst, cell-walls may overexpand and break, causing the cake to fall. The cake batter may rise so high during this expansion that it spills over the top of the pan.

    These problems can usually be corrected by adjusting baking temperature and one or more key ingredients: baking powder or soda, sugar, liquid and fat. [more]"

    -------------------

    Cooking at High Altitude

    "For Recipes Using Baking Powder:

    Don't overbeat the eggs. Overbeating adds too much air to the bread or cake.

    Raise the baking temperature slightly; the faster cooking time will keep the recipe from rising too much.

    Decrease the amount of baking powder slightly; this also prevents the recipe from rising too much.

    Always grease your baking pans thoroughly, as cakes and breads tend to stick more when they are baked at high altitudes."
    Sandaidh
    Fri Jan 21, 2005 11:02 am
    Food.com Groupie
    What exactly constitutes 'high altitude'? Where does the "boundary" begin? Logic says 4,000 ft above sea level is high altitude, but what about 1400 ft?

    The reason I ask is that I moved from a place in CA, with an altitude of 300 ft, to WNY, with an altitude of about 1400 ft. I've noticed that the rising time on my breads is significantly shorter. Now if could also be that I'm using a newer commercial yeast than I had been. (I think the temperature changes during the move killed my old yeast.)
    Donna M.
    Fri Jan 21, 2005 11:05 am
    Forum Host
    Sandaidh wrote:
    What exactly constitutes 'high altitude'? Where does the "boundary" begin? Logic says 4,000 ft above sea level is high altitude, but what about 1400 ft?


    One of my books says that anything over 4000 feet may require high altitude adjustment.
    Sandaidh
    Fri Jan 21, 2005 11:13 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Donna M. wrote:
    Sandaidh wrote:
    What exactly constitutes 'high altitude'? Where does the "boundary" begin? Logic says 4,000 ft above sea level is high altitude, but what about 1400 ft?


    One of my books says that anything over 4000 feet may require high altitude adjustment.


    Maybe it's the newer yeast then. Or the climate change. icon_wink.gif
    podapo
    Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:57 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    WaterMelon wrote:
    podapo, I found some info for you:

    Altitude Adjuster

    "Cake recipes perfected for sea level usually need no adjustment up to altitudes of 3,000 feet. Above 3,000 feet, lower atmospheric pressure may cause the cake to rise too quickly. The cell structure overexpands before the cake "sets." At best, your cake may have a coarse texture. At worst, cell-walls may overexpand and break, causing the cake to fall. The cake batter may rise so high during this expansion that it spills over the top of the pan.

    These problems can usually be corrected by adjusting baking temperature and one or more key ingredients: baking powder or soda, sugar, liquid and fat. [more]"

    -------------------

    Cooking at High Altitude

    "For Recipes Using Baking Powder:

    Don't overbeat the eggs. Overbeating adds too much air to the bread or cake.

    Raise the baking temperature slightly; the faster cooking time will keep the recipe from rising too much.

    Decrease the amount of baking powder slightly; this also prevents the recipe from rising too much.

    Always grease your baking pans thoroughly, as cakes and breads tend to stick more when they are baked at high altitudes."


    this will be very helpful. I've made bread and it seemed "ok" but not fantastic. I'm at about 8300 ft., so definately need to make some adjustments. I just always get mixed up with what adjustments are needed, so I'll print this to keep handy.
    CobraLimes
    Sat Jan 22, 2005 6:45 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    The Colorado State University Cooperative Extension website has loads of high altitude information and some booklets you can order for more specifics. Their web address is:
    http://www.cerc.colostate.edu/Titles/P41.html#altitude
    Cathy17
    Sun Jan 23, 2005 1:45 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Sandaidh wrote:
    What exactly constitutes 'high altitude'? Where does the "boundary" begin? Logic says 4,000 ft above sea level is high altitude, but what about 1400 ft?

    The reason I ask is that I moved from a place in CA, with an altitude of 300 ft, to WNY, with an altitude of about 1400 ft. I've noticed that the rising time on my breads is significantly shorter. Now if could also be that I'm using a newer commercial yeast than I had been. (I think the temperature changes during the move killed my old yeast.)


    From what I've read, anything over 3-4000 ft above Sealevel needs high altitude adjustment. When baking in Calgary, which is at 3500 ft above sea level, I never found that I had to adjust for the high altitude. However, anything over 4000 feet should be adjusted. There are some websites that give the amount to adjust based on the exact altitude. I'm at 7000 + feet in Flagstaff, so I will definitely have to make adjustments.
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