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Oct 19, 2013 01:21 PM

Baking at high altitude

Will be visiting Denver area for thanksgiving and want to teach my granddaughter how to make cream puffs. I live at sea level and am wondering what adjustments I might need to make.
Can you recommend a good cook book that addresses high altitude that I could give her

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  1. Chocolate Snowball is pretty good, it is by a pastry chef from a ski resort in Utah. I was a pastry chef at 7,000 feet and found it helpful.

    Oddly enough, cream puffs were one of the few things that I couldn't get to work at altitude, I don't remember what went wrong, just that choux and meringue never seemed to turn out right. IIRC they would rise too fast and explode. Maybe less egg? More gluten? Cakes are easy to adjust - a little less leavener, a little more liquid. Bread loves the thinner air and rises easily.

    For syrups, jams, and candies, you have to adjust the finished cooking temp to the same number of degrees above boiling. 220 is 8 degrees above boiling at sea level, so if boiling in the mountains is 204, cook the syrup to 212.

    1 Reply
    1. re: babette feasts

      Thanks will look for Chocolate Snowball book

    2. I just moved from sea level (Los Angeles) to Boulder. I got a book called Pie in the Sky by Susan G. Purdy after some advice from KAF hot line that didn't work out. It's not that they meant bad will but I'm learning from this book that there is no one advice fits all. most say, increase oven temp, decrease leavening and increase liquid and it's not always the case. good luck!

        1. I live in the Denver area and I haven't had to make adjustments for altitude to anything I've baked. I researched it extensively when I moved here, and determined it's more a problem above 7000'. The only change I've noticed in general is that water boils a bit faster :)

          3 Replies
          1. re: juliejulez

            Glad to hear. I live at 6400'. Do you bake bread?

            1. re: c oliver

              Occasionally... everything seems to rise just fine.... no real noticeable difference from when I lived at sea level. I do use a damp cloth to cover it when letting it rise, because it is so dry here though.

              1. re: juliejulez

                Thanks. Low humidity here also. Bob LOVES bread and I really want to indulge him.