Adjustments for no-knead crusty white bread at 7200 feet elevation
I have been baking the King Arthur Flour no-knead crusty white bread recipe for many months now with fairly good success, but I want it to be the best it can be. I have been reading about adjustments to make at 7200 feet elevation and will now try to add a tablespoon of water extra for each cup of flour. I am wondering if I should also decrease the yeast? I have been letting the dough proof for two hours and then putting it in the refrigerator overnight, per the recipe. At this altitude, would it be better to proof it in the refrigerator? If so, how long must it be in the refrigerator before I can bake it? Thank you!
Coconino County Arizona food preparation
There are no hard and fast rules about making altitude adjustments in recipes. What works for one person may not work for someone else. Therefore, you have to experiment around to see what works best for you. I find it helps to keep notes on or with the recipe to document what you tried and how it turned out.
Try decreasing the amount of yeast in the recipe by 25% and make water/flour adjustments as necessary to get the dough the correct texture. Since most no knead breads tend to be a very wet dough, be sure that there is enough liquid to incorporate all of the flour.
I have seen places that recommend placing the dough in the refrigerator for the first rise. This will definitely slow down the yeast growth, but because this is a no knead bread I am not sure that it is necessary for a good result. This is where experimenting comes into play.
Thank you, Laura. I appreciate your insight and will keep experimenting. Yesterday I made a dough and increased the water and the baking temperature. I did not decrease the yeast, and I proofed it in the refrigerator, which did prevent it from rising too much. It didn't rise at all when I took it out this morning before I baked it, so I don't know what that was about. I may try baking it after two hours of the initial proof to see how that comes out, as I have noticed that once the dough sits in the refrigerator it just doesn't really rise a second time. Can you tell me how decreasing the yeast would be of possible benefit?
Decreasing the yeast will prevent it from raising too much which can cause the bread to collapse. It doesn't seem like this is your problem. As you have noticed once a no knead dough has been in the refrigerator, it does not really raise again. You can just let the dough raise at room temperature for the recommended amount of time and make it into a loaf immediately. The dough will be quite sticky. When not refrigerating it, just let the dough rest for a shorter period of time (~40) before you bake it.
Your welcome! Let me know if you have any more questions.