Home & Garden Maintenance & Repairs

5 Steps to Success With High Altitude Baking

Baking at high altitudes has its challenges, especially for those who have lived at sea level for years. One of the most common problems is the texture and consistency of cakes, pies, biscuits and bread. Some high altitude residents have taken to buying baked goods at the grocery store or bakery to avoid problems and failures for special occasion cakes and holiday meals. Others find one or two recipes that work and steer clear of everything else. Here are five steps to success with high altitude baking.

Measurements and Air Temp
In most cases, the recipe will come out better when sugar, leavening and liquid ingredient measurements are adjusted before they are united. Air temp changes for the oven are also helpful, raising them up to 30 degrees. Be prepared to decrease sugar, baking powder, baking soda or other leavening agents while increasing milk, water, butter and oil. If the batter texture looks wrong and resembles a paste before cooking, combining the ingredients and adding more liquid to achieve the right consistency reduces the chances of dense, dry inedible food.

Consider the Source
Many recipes will require tweaking for higher altitudes, but considering their source may relieve confusion about when to make adjustments. One thing to remember, however, is that not all sea level recipes will lead to disappointment in high altitude locations. If a recipe doesn't point out high altitude adjustments, try using it as is. Another option is to use a high altitude cookbook. Someone else has taken the time to focus on tweaking the recipes so that the cookbook user can more readily enjoy the baking and eating.

Ingredients
When making a recipe for the first time, overbuy on ingredients if possible, and follow the recipe directions. If there is problem, the dish can be remade or the ingredients adjusted while baking.

Liquids in Disguise
Always allow the margarine, butter or shortening to soften first before using it in a recipe. Keep in mind that it will melt while cooking, so it's essentially a liquid ingredient in disguise. One option is to let it sit at room temperature in a warm room. Another is to put it in waxed paper, then hold or rub it in between the hands. Its starting air temp in the recipe [http://www.unitedairtempquality.com] affects how quickly it becomes a liquid.

Adjust Cooking Time
Use the cooking time as a guide, rather than a firm rule. Check the item in the oven before it is supposed to be ready, removing it if it appears to be done. Test it for doneness and return it to the oven for a short time longer, if necessary.

The more air there is in cake batters, the higher the chance that it will rise quickly and fall before it's cooked. Tap the pan before putting it in to the oven to break air bubbles trapped in the batter. The cake will rise more slowly, but it will stay there.

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