High Altitude

I live about 6000 feet above sea level, so all of these recipes either just plain work that high, or include adjustments if needed. (Like cakes, curse their tricky selves!) To learn how to adjust your own recipes, here's My Favorite High Altitude Baking Guide!

Adapted From King Arthur Flour

Changes at high altitude
Changes to Make
Oven temperature
Increase 15 to 25°F;  use the lower temperature increase  for chocolate or delicate cakes.
Since leavening and evaporation work faster at high altitude, the higher temperature will help "set" the structure of baked goods before they overexpand and dry out.
Baking time
Decrease by 5-8 minutes for each 30 minutes of baking time. For me this usually ends up only being 5-10 minutes less.
Because you have increased your oven  temperature, your baked goods will be done sooner!
Decrease by 1 tablespoon per cup
Increased evaporation also increases concentration of sugar, which can weaken the structure of what you're baking
Increase by 1 to 2 tablespoons at 3,000 feet. Increase by 1 1/2 teaspoons for each additional 1,000 feet. I usually add an extra egg to cover this extra liquid.
Extra liquid keeps products from drying out at with those raised oven  temperatures and evaporation rates.
At 3,500 feet, add 1 more tablespoon per recipe. For each additional 1,500 feet, add one more tablespoon.
Adding extra flour helps strengthen the structure of your baked  goods.

Leavening works MUCH faster at high altitudes, and adjusting it is essential! When using baking powder and  baking soda, use this chart to help you make adjustments. If you have a recipe that uses both, keep the total amount in mind and adjust accordingly.
Baking powder or baking soda
3,000-5,000 ft.
5,000-6,500 ft.
6,500-8,000 ft.
1 teaspoon
1 1/2 teaspoons
1 1/4
2 teaspoons
1 1/2
2 1/2 teaspoons
1 3/4
1 1/4
3 teaspoons
1 1/4
3 1/2 teaspoons
2 1/2
1 1/2
4 teaspoons
2 1/2
1 1/2

A Few More Tips…
For Cakes: Use extra eggs for liquid adjustments; 1 egg is about equivalent to 2 tablespoons of liquid, it’s what I use almost every time.
For Crackers and Pie Crusts (and many stiff doughs): You’ll probably need more water to help stiff doughs come together, add a little at a time to avoid making it too wet!
Fried Doughs: Lower the frying temperature by 3 degrees per 1,000 feet, and yes this will increase your cooking times.
Yeast Breads: Decrease the amount of yeast in the recipe by 25%, and adjust your water and flour as necessary to get a dough with the correct texture. Always start with 1 cup less of flour than a recipe calls for. (Or if it calls for a range, like 4-5 cups, start with the small measurement) Work the dough for a few minutes before adding extra flour. The same applies to adding extra water: if your dough seems too stiff, knead it for a few minutes before adding more water, you may be surprised how well it comes together! Make sure your bowl has plenty of room for the dough to rise in. Since rising times are much shorter at higher altitudes, here are a few ways to help develop that yeasty flavor:
Give the dough one extra rise by punching it down twice before forming it.
Try covering the dough and placing it in the refrigerator for its first rise, to slow the action of the yeast give the dough more time to develop.
If you have sourdough starter on hand, use some of it for some of the liquid in the recipe. Make a sponge by mixing the yeast, the liquid in the recipe, and 1 to 2 cups of flour. Cover and let the sponge work for a few hours in the refrigerator to develop it.

Adapted From King Arthur Flour

Candy-Making Adjustments!!

I make caramels every year, and I overcook probably one out of every three batches. I always remember that I learned something last year, and can never remember exactly what it is. Turns out, at high altitude, candy-making reacts differently too! So I'm including adjustments in my caramel recipes, and sharing the best adjustment I've found for making any homemade candy at high altitude:

Subtract two degrees Fahrenheit from a stated temperature for every 1000 feet you are above sea level.

For instance, if you live at 2000 feet above sea level, your approximate conversion would be four degrees less than the stated candy temperature. So if you were making a recipe that called for the candy to be brought to 240 F, you would only boil it to 236 F.

Another example: if you live at 6500 feet above sea level, your conversion factor would be 13 degrees less. (2 x 6 (thousand feet) + 1 degree for that extra 500 feet.) If your recipe called for 280 F, you would only cook your candy to 267 F. As you can see, the higher the altitude, the more important it is to do this conversion. Even a few degrees can make a huge difference in the successful outcome of the candy.

Adapted from About.com

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