High altitude baking

Asked January 13, 2016, 10:50 AM EST

What are the changes needed for baking at around 5500 ft above sea level from the listed amounts as I guess they are given for sea level baking.
Main problem is getting the dough to rise and not be yeastie and heavy.

Bernalillo County New Mexico food preparation high altitude food preparation baking

1 Response

The main issue is not letting your dough rise too much. This can result in bread loaves that are heavy and have an overly yeasty flavor. Check your dough part way through the suggested fermentation time. As soon as it has doubled punch it down and continue with the preparation steps, even if it has not taken as long as recommended in the recipe. Also make sure to keep your dough moist as it rises. Only add enough flour to the dough to form a workable ball, then place it in a humid room or lightly brush the surface of the dough with oil.

If your dough doubles too quickly, you may end up with finished loaves that have an unacceptably mild flavor. To resolve this, try these steps:

  1. Prepare the dough as directed.
  2. Allow the dough to double in volume.
  3. Punch down and knead the dough lightly.
  4. Ferment the dough a second time until it has doubled in volume.
  5. Continue with preparation as directed.
Other ingredient and temperature adjustments are not usually needed for yeast breads if the rising process is carefully monitored. But you can try using 3/4 of the yeast called for in the recipe. If you find that there is excessive oven spring (expansion of the dough in the first part of baking), you can reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit.