Baked goods

Elevate Your Skills - High Altitude Baking Tips

Posted: 08/30/18

You can't beat baking in beautiful Big Bear, but it can be tricky in higher elevation. Bring your A-game with our high altitude baking tips.

Snowy landscape. Mountain cabin. Baking in Big Bear. The higher the altitude, the lower the air pressure. While this is an excellent environment for training athletes, it can be a challenging one for baking. Sitting at over 6500 ft. above sea level, there are a few simple things to know to bring your A-game to the mountain kitchen.

Oven temperature - Increase 15 to 25°F; use the lower increase when making chocolate or delicate cakes. (Since leavening and evaporation proceed more quickly, the idea is to use a higher temperature to set the structure of baked goods before they over-expand and dry out.)

Baking time – Decrease baking time by 5-8 minutes per 30 minutes. (Baking at higher temperatures means your goodies are done sooner.)

Sugar - Decrease sugar by 1 tablespoon per cup. (Increased evaporation also increases concentration of sugar, which can weaken the structure of what you're baking.)

Liquid - Increase by 2 to 3 tablespoons at 6,500 ft. Increase by 1 1/2 teaspoons for each additional 1,000 ft. You can also use extra eggs as part of this liquid, depending on the recipe. (Extra liquid keeps products from drying out at higher temperatures with faster evaporation rates.)

Flour – Add 2 more tablespoons per cup at 6500 ft. For each additional 1,500 feet, add one more tablespoon. (Additional flour helps to strengthen the structure of baked goods.)

Baking Powder and Baking Soda – The higher your kitchen, the lower the amount of leavening. At 6500 ft. 1 tsp. becomes ¼ tsp, 2 tsp. becomes ¾ tsp, and 3 tsp. becomes 1 tsp.

When baking a recipe that calls for both baking powder and baking soda plus an acidic ingredient, like buttermilk or sour cream, try switching to all baking powder and sweet milk.

Cookies - Because cookies bake for a shorter amount of time than bread or cakes, and are relatively low in water and high in fat content, they're much less susceptible to the changes of high-altitude baking. Increase the water slightly, to help the dough come together, and decrease the amount of baking powder and baking soda used. Bake at slightly higher temperature, with a shortened baking time.

Just want fresh baked goods without all the work? Check out Sister My Sister Bake Shop for some delicious baked treats!

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