The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

8,000 Feet?

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madzilla's picture
madzilla

8,000 Feet?

Hi all,


I live at about 7,800 feet, and am new to bread baking.  I haven't been doing anything different really, but was wondering if there is anything I should be watching out for when baking breads at this altitude. Does it also affect the taste or fermenting? Thanks in advance!


M.

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

I used to live, and bake, at 7,700 feet and held baking classes closer to 8.800.  


 


The Colorado extension agency from CSU has some good pamphlets, available online.


 


Basically, their advice is to try a recipe without change and see what happens.  After that, the coping strategies are to make the dough a bit dryer, use a bit less riser (about 1/3 less) regardless of riser type, and to allow the bread another rise.


 


The key issue at high altitudes is that the riser doesn't have to fight as much air pressure so dough tends to over rise. 


 


The suggestions have to be played with.  It can be hard to produce a bread that is true to type, so you have to play with it and adjust the recipe for your situation.


 


A secondady issue is that many high altitudes are also very dry areas and dough will form a skin quickly.  So, protect your dough from drying out.  I used saran wrap, piling the wrap to keep it from sticking to the dough.


 


Good luck,


Mike