High Altitude Baking

Posted on September 22nd, 2010 by Bread making machines in Bread Making Tips

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High altitude baking is considered any baking performed at altitudes above sea level (3,500 feet or higher).  It is  in the oven
important to keep this in mind because higher altitudes can cause your breads, cakes, and cookies to rise too fast.  More importantly, if we are not careful it can also cause anything you bake to fall quite rapidly.   At lower elevations, air pressure is higher, allowing for slower more gradual bread rising.  At higher elevations air pressures are lower and bread rises faster (all things equal).

When it comes to high altitude baking, you may have to find several methods of adjusting your recipes as most recipes are designed with sea level baking in mind.                                                                                     Creative Commons License photo credit: phoosh

Here are a few high altitude baking tips:
The lower air pressure at higher elevations causes leavening products to react too fast; which can cause a cake or loaf of bread to rise too fast during the cooking process.  Decrease the amounts of leavening product that you use; 15 – 25% should be adequate.

  • Consider using extra large eggs for higher altitude baking.  This should help increase your mixture’s moisture.  Keep your eggs at room temperature, don’t beat them in excess.
  • Consider increasing the amount of liquids in the recipe to compensate for the increased dryness in the air.  Add water, 1 tsp at a time.  You dough should have a smooth consistency.
  • Avoid using self-rising flour as it can over expand during the baking process.
  • Reduce the amounts of sugar in your recipes, 2 tbsp for altitudes of up to 5,000ft and 3 tbsp for altitudes of up to 6,500ft.
  • You may also need to change the oven temperatures that you bake at by up to 25%; with a lower temperature your baked goods will be able to rise more slowly, achieving better results.

Remember, for high altitude baking, all recipes may need adjusting, including those for our bread making machines.  Let’s bake something fresh tonight!

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