We’ve provided this guide to help those who live at high altitudes bake and cook with success. At high altitudes, about 3,500 feet or more above sea level, foods bake and cook differently than if prepared at sea level.
Guide to Baking and Cooking at High Altitudes
The charts above describe specific adjustments you can make when baking and cooking. Because the effects of high altitudes can vary, we recommend that you first make a recipe as written before attempting to adjust it. If the food is not acceptable in texture or appearance, try one recipe change at a time until you get the result you want.
Baking at High Altitudes
At high altitudes:
• Air pressure is lower, so foods take longer to bake. Temperatures and/or bake times may need to be increased.
• Liquids evaporate faster, so amounts of flour, sugar and liquids may need to be changed to prevent batter that is too moist, dry or gummy.
• Gases expand more, so doughs rise faster. Leavening agents (baking soda and baking powder) may need to be decreased. Doughs may need shorter rising times and may need to be “punched down” (deflated) twice during the rising process.
The suggestions below are for scratch recipes. For cake mixes and mixes for other baked goods, check the package for directions specifically for that product.
The higher the altitude, the lower the air pressure. While this is an excellent environment for training athletes, it is a difficult one for baking recipes.
Baking depends on the specific interactions of several kinds of ingredients: flour, leavening, fats, liquid.
To complicate things further, individual microclimates vary greatly in the mountains, so the adjustment that works for you may not work for your neighbor down (or up) the road.
These charts are meant as a starting point, to help you convert recipes. Different types of baked goods need different adjustments, and we offer suggestions about where to start further on including adjusting chemical leavens according to altitude and baking cookies at high-altitude.
It may take a few tries to get results you’re happy with; if possible, try to adjust only one ingredient at a time, so you can isolate the effect it has. Be sure to keep notes on what you’ve done, and try the smaller adjustments first when a range is given.
A few of you lately have asked for recipes with common kitchen items, King Arthur Flour has a search system that allows you to search recipes with the top 5 items you have in your kitchen. Yes you can search by Ingredients! :)
So let’s say you have eggs, sugar, milk, cinnamon and you want to find a recipe using these 4 items, you plug in those keywords into their search and you’ll get a list of recipes that include those 4 items! It’s witchcraft I tell ya ;)
myyout asked: I really really want to try & perfect a carrot cake recipe. I've tried so many different ones but they just don't turn out the way I want them to. Either too dry, dense or just generally don't taste that good. Any recipes or tips? That would be great..
Well if you’ve tried many different recipes and none of them are working out, you really should look into your baking methods
Are you using the correct measuring tools? dry measuring tools are different for wet ingredient measuring tools. Do you have both wet measuring utensils and dry ingredient utensils? Not measuring correctly is a deadly thing in baking. It will kill all your recipes.
Have you checked the temperature of your oven? (with an oven thermometer) *click the links below to know why you should
Are you mixing the ingredients properly (IN ORDER of what the recipe requires) If you don’t you could under mix ingredients, over-mix ingredients etc etc)
Are you using ALL of the recipe ingredients even if it calls for a teaspoon of baking powder these things in baking matter A LOT.
spindlewinter asked: Today, I baked a batch of oat-y blueberry cookies, following the recipe as much as I could with what I could buy (my oven didn't go up as high as it wanted so I baked them at 250 degrees, I replaced brown sugar with white and I had no baking soda) and they ended up as blackened carbon lumps! And they were going to be a present! What happened, was it my oven or my ingredients?
When it comes to baking you really can’t ‘follow a recipe as best as you can’. Unlike cooking, baking is a SCIENCE. In cooking you can take this and that out and add a little of xyz and it might not effect the recipe, in baking this is a big no no.
Baking is just like one of those high school science experiments you did at school. It’s about combining ingredients to get a reaction (the reaction being an amazing dessert).
When a recipe calls to mix one ingredient with another and THEN mix those ingredients with the rest, it’s for a a reason… to get the chemistry correct for the recipe to work.
My suggestion is to pick a really good recipe and FOLLOW IT PERFECTLY.
Once you get experience baking you’ll know more of the science behind certain recipes and you’ll be able to switch up ingredients then, but for now stick to the recipe as best as possible **and make sure you have the correct measuring utensils (wet vs dry measuring cups etc)
PS the comments below about fahrenheit to celsius are correct
separate the egg whites from the yolks and in a clean, dry bowl whisk the whites until thick and glossy. add the castor sugar and whisk again until stiff. sieve the almonds and icing sugar into the bowl and carefully fold in, retaining as much air as possible. divide the mixture between three bowls and add the colouring and flavourings to each:- - raspberry flavour & pink food colouring - lemon flavour & yellow food coluring - vanilla flavour & blue food colouring. put each one into a separate piping bag. line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicon mat and pipe small circles (3cm across) onto the tray, leaving a small gap between each macaron. put the tray to one side to rest for 15 minutes to allow a slight skin to form. preheat the oven to 160°C. pick the tray up and drop it onto a flat surface from a small height… this forms the ‘feet’ that is associated with macarons. bake for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to chill at room temperature until completely cold. sandwich the macarons with a filling of choice… raspberry jam (pink), lemon curd (yellow) & nutella (bue). serve and eat within 48 hours when at their freshest.
Confused by recipes that call for Dutch-process cocoa and wonder how on earth it is different from “regular” or natural, unsweetened cocoa powder? Never fear! I’m here to help unravel the mystery behind cocoa powder in plain terms.
infinitexxxx asked: Hey so I just moved to a place where the altitude is higher and Ive noticed that my baking turns out really bad and I'm not sure why. Do you know what the adjustments are for high altitude baking? I live at about 4500 feet above sea level. I've adjusted the baking time to make it shorter but then my cakes/cookies aren't totally done on the inside! Its frustrating!
Uggfff I just spent a half hour looking for some articles I posted on this before. I can’t find them. I hope you find these articles helpful though. I must have tagged my old articles wrong…….
a perfect healthy alternative to a regular cake is a sponge cake. It usually has no butter and yet it’s often the base cake for such favorite’s as strawberry shortcakes, baked alaska’s, tiramisu’s, trifles & tres leches.
However, if used properly it’s a great alternative to regular cakes that are made with a lot of butter. They can be easily spiced up with fruits, whipped cream, diet friendly ganache’s etc.
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