Living the high life isn’t easy when it comes to baking. Reading the “high-altitude” instructions from a Betty Crocker box is much easier than cooking from scratch at 3,000 feet above sea level. Cakes turn out flat and muffins never rise. The mountain views may make baking more pleasant but the altitude never lies.
The consistency of air, thermodynamics, and heat contribute to a firestorm of missed baking calculations. A few hints and tips will ensure that your baked goods turn out perfect.
Baking 101; measure the ingredients. Not only is correct measuring while baking at any altitude important, it increases your chance of turning out a perfect and delectable treat. Don’t pack your flour when filling a measuring cup, scoop and cut the overflow with a butter knife. Your salt, baking soda, and baking powder will thank you for it.
Bake at a higher temperature when altitude warrants. The density of the air conflicts with the rising of everything you bake. Due to the higher evaporation level, a higher temp is needed to ensure that there is no drying of a moist dessert or pizza crust. Reduce baking times by at least ten minutes or less.
Always add at least double the liquid when baking at a high altitude. It makes your baked goods moister and will improve your ability to solve the riddle of how much dry and how much liquid your recipe requires. Practice always makes perfect.
As we all know, there is a density that comes with every type of flour, whether it be white, whole grain, or something else entirely. “At 3,500 feet, add 1 more tablespoon per recipe. For each additional 1,500 feet, add one more tablespoon.” Do this always, no matter the type of flour. I have many friends in Colorado, and yes, they will tell you the same.
Don’t sweat it
Yes, it really is that simple. The task seems daunting, yet as long as you follow a few recipe maneuvers and you will have the perfect brownies or cake on your table in no time. The key is to not worry. Fun while baking is important; having fun is the name of the game…as well as a recipe to success.
Cooking at high altitudes is a challenge but with a bit of experimentation and recipe guidelines, it is a success for friends and family alike.