Hi, I am Ris ë Keller and I am here to talk with you about high-altitude baking, because it's really all about the atmospheric pressure!
As altitude increases, less atmosphere exerts pressure on your baked goods.
Less atmosphere means less atmospheric pressure, and the lower the temperature at which water boils.
Baking powder, baking soda, and yeast all leaven by creating carbon dioxide bubbles in the batter. When the batter is heated and sets, these bubbles create what is called the “crumb.” Lower atmospheric pressure and a lower boiling point mean less leavening is needed to lighten the batter before it sets.
Some basic cake recipe adjustments: Use half the leavening. Add more moisture. Increase the baking temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because water boils earlier, your baked goods cook faster and earlier and can dry out. These are some things you can add to a recipe to keep it moist.
Here is a series of photos of cupcakes I baked here the other day without adjusting the recipe for high altitude. At 10 minutes, the cupcakes are already about to spill over the pan, and at 20 minutes they were overflowing. Although they tasted yummy, the cake crumb was open and crumbly; my daughter and I had to eat these over the sink.
Another joke? What is the left side of a birthday cake? The side that's not eaten. Why was the birthday cake as hard as a rock? Because it was marble cake! &quot;Doctor, I get heartburn every time I eat birthday cake.&quot; Next time, take off the candles.&quot; Why did the birthday cake go to the doctor? Because it was feeling crumby!
Sometimes it's important to know what to avoid when cooking. You don't have to learn everything the hard way! Overbeating egg whites can result in a fallen cake; instead, whip them to soft peaks. If they start looking lumpy, your batter could fall.
This one is especially Important for folks who don't use leavenings like baking powder or soda, or yeast. Bring egg whites to room temperature before beating them.
This is a great recipe, so easy. You can start a loaf of bread at 2 and it can be ready for dinner by 6 or 6:30, with virtually no time spent beyond folding the dough. The best part is taking it out of the oven and listening to the crust crackle.
Two muffins are baking in the oven. One says, “Wow! Sure is hot in here!” The second one says, “Yikes! A talking muffin?!”
And what does it have to do with Elton John? My mom was a pastry chef at the Caribou Ranch recording studio in Eldora, near Nederland, and she had to learn to adapt recipes to work at 8,500 feet.
Baking at High Altitude: It's all about atmospheric pressure
It's simple! The higher you get, the thinner the atmosphere
sea level Less atmosphere means less atmospheric pressure <ul>Atmospheric pressure affects the temperature at which water boils: 187° F at 14,000 feet 203° F at 5,000 feet 212° F (100° C) at 0 feet (sea level) </ul>Long's Peak <ul>187° </ul><ul>212 ° </ul>
<ul>When water boils at lower temperatures, it evaporates faster, which can dry out cakes and breads at higher altitudes. </ul>What does boiling water have to do with baking ?
Lower atmospheric pressure means you need less leavening <ul>Baking soda, baking powder, and yeast leaven cakes & breads by adding carbon dioxide. </ul>
Cake recipe adjustments for high altitude (5,000 feet) <ul><li>Reduce leavening by 1/2
Punch dough earlier & more often, or let rise in a cool place </li></ul>
Baking Dos and Don'ts <ul>Even without all these handy-dandy high-altitude guidelines, you can remember a few things that will help you bake great cakes and breads wherever you go. </ul>
DO add more liquid! <ul>If you do nothing else to adjust your recipe, add extra moisture to your batter. </ul>
DO beat egg whites to soft peaks! <ul>Good: Soft peaks </ul>Not so good: Overbeaten, clumpy, “dry” egg whites
DON'T let bread doughs rise as long! <ul>With less atmospheric pressure at higher altitudes, doughs rise higher and faster than they do at sea level. </ul>Photo from http://twentytwopleasant.blogspot.com
Yeasted bread adjustments <ul><li>Reduce yeast by 1/2
NYT No-Knead Bread: Great for high-altitude bakers <ul>A New York Times * 2008 recipe features a simple, shaggy dough you bake in a hot Dutch oven. It yields a crackling, crusty loaf. </ul>* http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/dining/081mrex.html or Google “ speedy no-knead bread ”
Remember to adjust other recipes, too <ul>Canning , candy making , & deep-fat frying require temperature and/or time adjustments above 2,000 feet </ul>
What do I know about baking at high altitude? <ul>My mom was a pastry chef at Caribou Ranch recording studio in Eldora, and she had to learn to bake cakes for really high rock stars (8,500 feet) </ul>
High-altitude cooking resources <ul><li>Pie in the Sky , by Susan G. Purdy