If you’re doing a lot of Christmas baking (or if you don’t because it never seems to come out right) it’s worth investigating the two letter word in baking-HIGH ALTITUDE. Cookbooks and most recipes are written for SEA LEVEL which is not a huge portion of US. So…if you can’t figure out why your brownies never turn out or why your cake and muffins are flat or why your candy (CANDY ESPECIALLY is very sensitive to high altitude since water boils at a lower temperature the higher up you go-that means your soft ball and hard ball stages are actually lower than 240 and 260 respectively speaking) doesn’t turn out-you need to download my latest handout for HIGH ALTITUDE.Why does altitude matter?
At any altitude above sea level, the air pressure is lower. This lower air pressure can cause 3 major types of problems in your baked goods for elevations 3,500 feet above sea level.
1. Lower air pressure allows baked foods to rise faster. Leavening agents such as yeast, baking powder and baking soda create large gas bubbles that expand rapidly. The large bubbles can weaken the structure of baked goods and cause cakes and breads to collapse unless recipe adjustments are made.
2. Water also boils at a lower temperature (2 degrees per 1,000 foot increase), which affects both baking and cooking
3. Liquids evaporate faster at high altitudes so foods such as cooked frostings and candies will become harder more rapidly.
What can you do about it?
The good news is that it’s pretty easy to resolve high altitude baking issues. I’ve created a two page handout for you that you can download and keep with your cookbooks, on your fridge, or anywhere close that you can pull out and use. It covers cakes, candy, popovers, cookies, muffins, and anything you’d need to adjust for high altitude.