Any tips for baking in high humidity
Does anyone have tips for baking in high humidity? I would like to make cookies and cakes in a place where the humity is usually 70%. How this will affect my baked goods and how I can adjust my recipes?
I live in coastal south Louisiana, where the humidity is very high, year round. Today is a relatively low humidity day at 64%! I don't encounter any major problems with standard recipes used in baking, but I do usually add a little less liquid (keeping a tablespoon or so in reserve) to most recipes to account for the dampness of flour & sugar stored at room temp. The moisture content of flour is esp noticeable in bread recipes, where small amounts of liquid can change the texture/stickiness of dough. Some folks store flour & sugar in the freezer to reduce the moisture content, but I can't ever remember to take it out before I need it, and I find that the temp of ingredients is more of a problem than humidity in baking.
Once things are baked, you'll notice that everything either softens or stales quickly...mold can grow in an amazingly brief time period in the presence of high humidity. So be sure to store your goodies accordingly.
Humidity is more of a factor in candymaking..toffee, pralines, meringues, etc. Some days you just can't succeed, or you need to run the air conditioning for several hours to dehumidify the air before attempting confectionary. And don't expect candies to hold for very long once prepared. Sugaring/granulation set in pretty quickly, too. (Though there are various tricks for stabilizing with glucose, invert sugar, etc)