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High Altitude Baking Tips

Colorado master bakers share how they keep their cookies and cakes in shape while dealing with high altitude.

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Even the best home bakers and professionals have found that their favorite recipes don’t quite turn out the same here in Colorado. There’s a lot of careful chemistry involved in achieving the perfect pastry, especially at high altitudes.

“The low air pressure at higher altitudes brings the boiling point of water down, causing your cakes and quick breads to dry out more quickly if you follow the original recipe,” Ann Marie Trent, kitchen manager at Cake Crumbs Bakery & Café, explains. “This also interferes with the way the baked goods handle the sugar content and any chemical leavening agents, leaving your cookies and cakes dull and flat. While there is a set of ‘guidelines’ to follow, there will also be quite a bit of trial and error.”

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If you’re an allergy-friendly kitchen, Nicole Kurland of Allergy Free Baking Company says that as long as your gluten-free blend contains a binder in it such as xanthan gum or guar gum, you can directly replace regular flour with a gluten-free blend.
Most recipes are written for lower altitudes, says Mark Hill, owner of Meraki Custom Cakes. Local bakers have fiddled with the formula and found these adjustments helpful.

Tips:

Cake, muffins, cornbread, and quick breads

Cookies

Breads


READ MORE: High Altitude Recipes for 4 Family Favorites

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