Elevation Adjustments in Cooking

I have had to relearn something since our move; higher elevation cooking. Living most of your life at a lower elevation and learning to cook there can cause a little havoc in the kitchen when you are suddenly found at 2,910 feet. We are still about a thousand feet lower than what we were when we lived in western Montana, but even an 1,800 feet difference can throw off your normal cooking habits.

I know most boxed baked goods give instructions for higher elevation baking, but when you cook and bake from scratch it’s a little trial and error when it comes to the actual cooking and baking part. I have found that my recipes that were in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes are taking about 10 minutes longer now. The first week we were here, I splurged and bought a tube of cookie dough and quickly realized I would have to make a few changes. ~ It took about 5-8 minutes longer for them to not be under cooked but not crunchy. My first batch of brownies was totally missing something, but I couldn't decide on what the problem was. One thing I did know was the baking time, it was almost doubled and they were not good!

After doing an internet research on high elevation cooking, I came across a few websites talking about what can be added or reduced to help with the changes.  You can see them HERE, HERE and HERE. Betty Crocker even has a cool little table that you can print off and add to your homemaking binder if you use one or just tape it to the inside of a cabinet door ~ like me!

After reading, I realized I needed to add more flour to my brownies along with a longer baking time. ~ The second batch was just like when we were in Georgia. Last month, I baked two loaves of pumpkin bread and I added about two tablespoons of flour and baked for an extra 10 minutes. My chocolate cake I make for Christmas every year; two tablespoons of flour. ~ Just as tasty as in the past!

Another thing I noticed, when I cook rice and pasta, I have had to add more water along with more cooking time. Of course, these types of foods are not hard to cook, so the little differences are quickly learned.

Since I am not always the one who may decide to bake a pan of brownies or cookies, I have a sticky note on the inside cabinet with the changes that need to be made. Hopefully, they will remember to read the sticky note!