Basic High-Altitude French Bread for Welbilt Breadmaker

"I used to live near sea level, where I had wonderful success with breadmaker breads. Back then, I'd just estimate the amount of yeast, salt, and sugar, and I'd toss in all sorts of extra ingredients. Once even a bread made with yellow cake mix and some leftover spinach. However, after moving to a mile-high altitude, I had to stop casually adding ingredients. In fact, I couldn't even turn out a decent loaf of white bread. I was about to donate my breadmaker away, when I came across tips for high-altitude baking on the internet. I stayed up late one night reading. Then I started experimenting. My breadmaker is the Welbilt Model #ABM-100. [That's the breadmaker that's shaped like R2D2.] I played around with ingredient amounts until I found a combination that uses regular flour at high-altitude. Now, I've never tried this at OTHER high altitudes ... maybe what works in my altitude/temperature/humidity will fail dismally in another part of the world. And I don't know what would happen if you choose to use bread flour. Here's the basic French bread that works for me. But I haven't dared to add spinach to it."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
4hrs 10mins
12 slices


  • 12 tablespoon yeast
  • 12 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 tablespoon salt
  • 12 tablespoon butter
  • 1 12 cups water
  • 3 cups flour


  • Add ingredients to breadmaker in order listed.
  • Select French bread setting.
  • Push start.
  • Four hours later, slice and eat.
  • This is best when freshly-sliced; it doesn't seem to keep particularly well. But, if you have teenagers, the question of needing to keep leftovers is irrelevant anyway.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I live at about 8,500 ft above sea level. I have had a terrible time baking bread at this altitude. This recipe worked great. I did not use my bread machine, but kneaded it for about 5-10 minutes and then allowed it to rise for 40 the first time, punched it down and let it rise another 20 minutes. Then I shaped it and let it rise another 20 minutes. Then, I baked it at 375 for 20 minutes. Perfect bread!
  2. Used this at 5300ft, turned out pretty nicely. Next time, I think I'll cut the salt back to 1 tsp, and up the bread size setting from 1 lb to 1-1/2 lb. Otherwise excellent
  3. So this recipe calls for almost equal amounts of water and flour by weight. I always follow a new recipe exactly the first time I try to make it and was not surprised to see dough soup in the bread machine pan. It was the consistency of sourdough starter and baked into a loaf that looked, felt, and tasted like a brick. 6k feet.
  4. Successfully made my first bread in Colorado (5300 ft) in bread machine exactly followed this recipe. Very tasty, no leftover picky eaters family loved it. THANK YOU. I was using all purposed flour the first time. Made it second time using bread flour, it was more fluffy but the top collapsed, still tasted delicious just not as pretty. I do like the fluffy texture, wonder how to avoid top collapsed? Again, thank you for the recipe... I gave up baking many years ago after I moved here from sea level.
  5. I live at 7500 ft. It still collapsed with the amount of yeast listed. I had to reduce the yeast to 1/2 tsp for it to not collapse. The top crust was still very delicate though, so I may experiment with even less yeast. The taste was really good! It’s our favorite so far!


  1. I used the recipe as is - no changes.



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