[Sca-cooks] baking at high altitudes

Susan Lin susanrlin at gmail.com
Wed Feb 25 09:41:07 PST 2009

Water boils at around 202 F here.  I have several altitude cookbooks/baking
books one from the cooperative extension that is very helpful.

It's always hit or miss  because it's not just altitude that affects things
- it's barometric pressue, humidity, etc.  Ain't nature grand!!!!  And yet
we still try to control it!

As for the yeast - I have always stored it in the freezer and it has always
worked well.

On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 10:32 AM, Terry Decker <t.d.decker at att.net> wrote:

> Lower air pressure causes some problems in baking.  Rise occurs when the
> dough traps CO2 in the strands of gluten.  Vigorous CO2 production can cause
> outgassing from the dough reducing the rise.  However, I will say that I
> haven't had much problem with baking basic white bread at altitude with a
> properly stored yeast.  When I encounter such a problem, I'll check the
> baking at altitude information in The Joy of Cooking.
> One needs to be even more careful with chemical leavens at altitude.  In
> fact a number of recipes, reduce the amount of chemical leavens above 3000
> ft.
> Temperature control also becomes more critical at altitude.  Water boils at
> less than 212 deegrees F (100 degrees C), which can produce a dry or an
> underbaked product.
> The problem with a pressure cooker is that it retains moisture which would
> effect the quality of the crust and crumb of bread.  It's an interesting
> idea that might just work for some kinds of bake goods.
> Bear
> Shoshanna said:
>> <<< I'll see if I can lighten it up some and I'll post my success or
>> failure
>> whichever it is.  At over a mile up yeast does some strange stuff so who
>> knows! >>>
>> You mentioned this before in another message as well but you also
>> mentioned that it was dry? cool? there also as well and I was  wondering if
>> it was the dryness or the altitude which was bothering  the yeasts. Does
>> starting with more yeast not solve this problem? Or  is it less that the
>> yeast aren't multiplying but that they don't put  out as much CO2? Bear,
>> other bakers? any comments? I might have  thought that the lower air
>> pressure might make the generated CO2 go  further and puff up the bread
>> more.
>> For many other dishes I guess you can solve things by using a  pressure
>> cooker, but I guess that doesn't work for baking...
>> Stefan
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