Baking in Thin Air

blueberry muffins

Johnny Prep’s tips for beautiful baked goods in high altitudes.

It is skiing season and time for many to visit their mountain get-a-ways and enjoy the beautiful vistas and evergreen fresh crisp air. My friend Andy has a home 8200 feet above sea level and enjoys baking some comforting warm goodies to fuel the nutrition you need for an aggressive day of skiing. But baking at that high of an altitude presents some challenges when one’s collection of recipes are sea level based.
So adjustments must be made, and I wanted to share some guidance in making those adjustments. Truthfully I am not very experienced in cooking or baking in that environment. But thanks to culinary school, I do have professional texts that are written for chefs and provide a great reference of expertise. So here is the skinny.
There are 6 ingredients that need to be considered for adjustments. They are Baking Powder, Flour, Eggs, Sugar, Fat and Liquid. You also want to make sure you wrap you baked goods as soon as they are cool, because they will dry out faster. The following table guidance was developed for an elevation of 7500 feet. Remember that these are guidelines and not hard and fast rules. You need to be mindful of your own experiences. Many manufacturers of flour, shortening, and other ingredients supply detailed information for adjustments for specific localities and you might want to check their websites or contact their customer service as well. Good luck, happy baking, and enjoy your time in that beautiful landscape!
Baking Powder decrease 60%
Flour increase 9%
Eggs increase 15%
Sugar decrease 9%
Fat decrease 9%
Liquid increase 22%