High Altitude Cooking

Three easy things to remember when cooking in a high altitude (above 7,000 ft):

  1. Reduce oil (leavening agent)
    For each 1 teaspoon of leavening agent called for, decrease it by 1/8-1/2 teaspoon. Start with 1/8 teaspoon decrease at a time.
  2. Reduce sugar
    Decrease the sugar by 1 tablespoon.
  3. Increase liquid
    Increase the amount of liquid 1-2 tablespoons.

I find that many times I don’t have make adjustments if I use Hungarian High Altitude Flour – found in most grocery stores. Although, it’s all in experimenting.

(Found at Mountain Mama Cooks)

“The main factor affecting baked items is the low pressure resulting from the higher altitude; this leads to lower boiling points, faster evaporation and rapid rising. In addition, low humidity can dry ingredients out resulting in a dry texture and crumbly product. I use three basic adjustments for high-altitude baking: reduce leavening agent, reduce sugar, and increase liquid. Often, one or all of these things is enough to adjust a sea level recipe successfully. Keep in mind that every recipe is different and any or all of these adjustments I suggest may be required. Keep notes of how you adjust recipes until you know what works best for your particular location. Have faith, you’ll get it right eventually!” – Mountain Mama

Go to Mountain Mama’s web page and read more about high altitude cooking. She has some great explanations and information.

Written a couple years earlier:
In August of 2011 ago we moved from So. Oregon to Castle Rock, Colorado. We are at an elevation of about 6,800 ft. I have never lived anywhere but California or Oregon and NEVER have had to be concerned about my baking, always using my tried and true recipes…but now it is a bit daunting. Now altering is not not just for flavor or healthier recipes but also for high altitude.

It’s Thanksgiving today. I promised to bake an apple pie and a pumpkin cheesecake. I would be devastated if they flopped! So, I have been studying up on baking at high elevations. I will be posting my results here for others in my situation.

The first site I found to be helpful is High Altitude Baking on All-Recipes.com.

Note: 2011 – Our First Thanksgiving in Colorado – the weather was perfect: sunny and dry. We went over to my daughter’s home and joining the family for dinner. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We have so many things to be grateful for!