The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Another Newb - Colorado

KD1001's picture

Another Newb - Colorado

My name is David, and I've recently found that baking bread complements my interest in cooking and eating quite nicely, so it's becoming a new hobby.

I suspect that living at 6,000 ft above sea level in a 0% humidity environment makes things a bit different, but my experience of a couple months suggests that making delicious bread is not rocket science - also more fun than rocket science. So far my favorite things to make are baguettes from my starter (doubly good on a tight budget), and my biggest challenge is to produce a wheat sandwich loaf to surpass what the grocery carries. Also challenged at using bread pans - my loaves seem to stick about 50% of the time no matter what I do.

I've been reading this site for a while and decided I ought to sign up and start talking.

proth5's picture

I bake in the Mile High City where the humidity is slightly greater than 0% :>)

There is an ugly rumor that you can't bake good bread at this altitude.  So untrue.

I have years of experience baking at sea level and find that, for bread, there is very little difference between sea level and this altitude.  I will say that the dry air allows me to work with a lot less flour on the bench and on the couche and I do need to be careful about keeping my dough in tubs during bulk fermentation and well covered during final fermentation.

As for the bread sticking to the pan - I use spray oil and have never had a problem.  My pans are heavy aluminum and this may make a difference.

Enjoy your baking in our beautiful weather!

JanetTackett's picture

I have been baking bread at 6900 ft and have never had a problem.  I do have to watch the dough and sometimes have to play with getting just the right amount of water/flour ratio to get it the way I want it.  I find that also if you spray the pans first before you bake, the bread come right out.  I also find that with a very active starter, there is no problem with rising.  I never have to add yeast.

damgto1's picture

High KD 1001,

Welcome to baking at altitude. I've been baking artisan loaves at 9000 ft. for over 10 years and other than using more moisture or less flour (as Proth5 has mentioned) and maybe a little less or no yeast than most recipes call for(as Janet mentioned) you shouldn't have any problems. When I bake at lower altitudes, I notice that I don't get quite the rise as I do when at home 9000'.

Either a thicker bread pan or thicker oil in you pan should prevent the sticking. I use olive oil in a pump mister and it works great. Before I had the mister I just rubbed it on with my hand.