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Feb 8, 2014 05:42 PM

Recipe adjustments for baking at high altitudes

Anyone have experience baking at high altitudes? I just moved to Denver and already have many recipes that I frequently use (cookies, quick breads and yeasted breads mostly) and was wondering if you follow any set rules for adapting them to high altitude or is it just trial and error with each recipe?

Thanks for any help!

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  1. I didn't adjust any of my recipes when I moved to the Denver area. Everything seems to work about the same at 5200'. I did try to make my usual pitas at a friend's house in Evergreen (which I believe is around 7200) and they didn't turn out right.

    1. Thanks Julie I'll give one of my cookie recipes a try and see if it turns out.

      Btw any changes in cooking time? I'm also dealing with a new oven so want to make sure if the changes I make are cause of the altitude or the new oven!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Lorry13

        I had to do cookies a bit longer but I don't know if that's just because of my oven or the altitude. Maybe do it for a minute or two less than normal, and then just keep an eye on it.

      2. "Pie in the Sky" has the best high altitude adjusted recipes and advice around . . . but you might be okay in Denver for most everything. I have trouble at times in the Vail Valley and higher. . . .

        2 Replies
        1. re: thimes

          I've heard a lot about the book....should be useful now in Colorado.

          However by now I've accumulated many varied recipes I love (and never screw them up...) so i really hope they will work here!

          1. re: Lorry13

            Get the book from the library and flip through it. She also has a table of 'general rules of thumb" for adjusting recipes for altitude (e.g. for every 1000 ft decrease baking soda by x amount) and advice on how to trouble shoot recipes for altitude (e.g. how to tell when you need to add more liquid because of evaporation rates).

            So it is a great resource - not just for recipes. Just something to think about if you end up having issues with your recipes.

        2. I'd be very interested as well. I live at 4000 feet in az and have had mixed success with baking ratios for bread.

          1. Almost five months after my initial post. I have found out that when making cookies, quick breads and cakes things bake much faster (could be my oven) but I haven't needed to tweak any recipes.

            Now I need some help troubleshooting recipes with yeast. A simple Google search says that recipes with yeast rise much faster and require less yeast at an altitude. However I have found that my breads barely rise at all whether is a dinner rolls recipe or a simple cinnamon roll dough.

            I bought the same SAF Red Instant yeast that I had before and it is stored in the freezer. Any ideas why I can't replicate yeasted recipes using the same recipes and yeast as before? Can too much yeast hamper the rising of the dough?

            Thanks for any input!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lorry13

              I've been following this but not posting. There's a book "High Altitude Baking" which I've not checked out of the library. I hope you will. And report back. Best of luck.