Baking Basics: High Altitude Baking Tips

Baking Basics: High Altitude Baking Tips - If you're baking at a high altitude, refer to these tips to make sure your recipes come out perfect every time!

I’m back with another Baking Basics installment!

This one may not impact all of you, but it’s a subject that I receive a ton of questions about on a regular basis – how to adjust recipes to work well at high altitudes. There’s nothing worse than having a recipe just plain fail, and if it happens more often than note, it’s seriously discouraging. By sharing these high altitude baking tips, I hope to ensure that you can troubleshoot the most common high altitude baking problems.

Continue reading for tips on all sorts of baking situations – breads, muffins, pies, cakes, cookies, oh my!

High Altitude Quick Breads, Muffins, Biscuits or Scones

  • If biscuit or scone dough is dry and hard to knead, add an extra tablespoon or two of liquid.
  • If quick breads or muffins collapse and the texture is dense, use less baking powder and/or baking soda.
  • If quick breads or muffins are sweet and dry, reduce the sugar by a tablespoon or two and/or add an extra tablespoon or two of liquid.

High Altitude Yeast Breads and Pastries

  • If the dough is too dry, hold back a small portion of the flour and add only as needed.
  • If the top of loaf blows out and crumb is dense or gummy, use less yeast or shorten the rising time.

High Altitude Pie Doughs, Tart Doughs, and Non-Yeasted Pastries

  • If the dough is dry and hard to roll out, add an extra tablespoon or two of ice water.

High Altitude Cakes

  • If chemically leavened cakes sink in the center, use less baking soda and/or baking powder. Also, try increasing the oven temperature and decrease the baking time.
  • If egg-leavened cakes sink in the center, underwhip the egg whites and/or whole eggs. Also, try increasing the oven temperature and decrease the baking time.
  • If cakes are dry and cottony, use less sugar and/or add an extra egg.
  • If case are greasy, add an extra tablespoon or two of flour.

High Altitude Cookies

  • If cookies spread too much in the oven, use less sugar. Also, increase the oven temperature and decrease the baking time.
  • If cookies are too dry, add an extra egg or yolk.

Wrapping it Up

If you routinely bake at high altitudes and have some tricks up your sleeve, be sure to share them in the comments below!