ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Tweak Bread Recipes for Baking in High Altitudes

Updated on February 14, 2014
Mmmmm...cookies! | Source

Unless your goal is to make flatbread, baking bread at high altitudes can be extremely frustrating. If no adjustments are made to recipes, chances are really good that your bread will turn out flatter than desired. In addition to being flatter, dough consistency can also be a problem. At higher altitude, bread dough tends to be chewier, mushier, or less baked.

High Altitude

Living in higher altitude means that the air pressure is lower than normal. Since baking depends on a perfect balance of flour, leavening, fats, and liquids, doing so in higher altitudes can be tricky, to say the least. The lower air pressure makes liquids boil at lower temperatures, affecting both cooking time and temperatures. As a result, small adjustments have to be made in order to bake goods with perfect results.

Baking Tweaks for High Altitude Living

There are definitely things that can be done to recipes to help you bake in higher altitudes. Necessary adjustments will likely vary from location to location, so the best thing to do is tweak ingredients little by little, using trial and error, until you get the recipes just right.

Don't forget to take note of the adjustments that you make!

Whiskey Chocolate Cake
Whiskey Chocolate Cake | Source

Increase The Oven Temperature

At higher altitudes, leavening and evaporation occur at faster rates due to the lower air pressure. As a result, dough will rise much more rapidly than desired and eventually collapse, leaving you with an over-expanded, dried out mess.

Increasing the oven temperature by 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit will prevent the over-expansion to occur.

This is particularly helpful if you are baking chocolate or delicate cakes.

Decrease Baking Time

Since baking at higher temperatures is a necessary evil in higher altitudes, it is a good idea to also tweak your baking time. This will prevent your baked goods from drying out and being over done.

For every 30 minutes of required baking time, decrease the overall time by 7 minutes.

Decrease Sugar.
Decrease Sugar. | Source

Decrease Sugar

The lowered air pressure in higher altitudes causes rapid evaporation resulting in increased concentrations of sugar in your baked goods. When this happens, two things occur. First, your baked good loses a great deal of its structure and collapses onto itself. Second, you end up with clumps of sugar pockets deposited throughout your cake.

For best results, decrease the amount of sugar by 1 tablespoon for every cup required in the recipe.

This is particularly true for sweet breads such as pound cakes and fruit loaves (banana bread).

Increase Liquids.
Increase Liquids. | Source

Increase Liquids

As mentioned before, the lower air pressure in high altitude environments increases evaporation rates of liquids, causing your bread dough to dry out too quickly. To remedy the situation, increasing the amount of liquid called for in a recipe is one way to tweak it for high altitudes. This is true for water, milk, or any other liquid.

At 3,000 feet or higher, it is best to increase the amount of liquid by 1 to 2 tablespoons. For each additional 1,000 feet, increase the amount by 2 teaspoons.

** By the way, adding an extra egg to the recipe also helps increase liquid and prevent the dough from drying out.

Adjust Leavening

When a recipe calls for baking powder or baking soda as leavening agents, it is important to make the appropriate adjustments when living in high altitudes.

Baking Soda and Baking Powder Adjustments

Recipe Amount
3,000 to 5,000 feet
5,000 to 6,500 feet
6,500 to 8,000 feet
1 teaspoon
7/8 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon
1 1/2 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons
3/4 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon
2 teaspoons
1 1/2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon
3/4 teaspoon
2 1/2 teaspoons
1 3/4 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons
1 teaspoon
3 teaspoons
2 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons
1 teaspoon
3 1/2 teaspoons
2 1/2 teaspoons
1 1/2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon
4 teaspoons
2 1/2 teaspoons
1 1/2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon
Adapted from

One Size Doesn't Fit All

Different adjustments will need to be made to different types of baked goods. Patience is the key when figuring out the right balance of fats, liquids, temperature, and leavening agents. The list below is a great place to start depending on what you're trying to bake.

Crackers and Pie Crust

Usually, a minimal amount of adjustments are necessary for crackers and pie crusts. You will occasionally have to increase the amount of water used to help the pie crust form, but that's about it!


The best way to increase liquids for cakes is to use an extra egg. If there is a concern for increased egg yolks in the cake, then only add egg whites for the extra liquid.


Due to the short baking time and higher fat content in cookies, there aren't too many adjustments that can be made. Cookies are going to appear flatter than usual. Increasing the amount of water used and decreasing leavening such as baking powder and baking soda should do the trick for cookies.

Fried Doughs

Lower your frying temperature by 3 degrees for every 1,000 feet increase over 3,000 feet. Cooking times may also need to be increased.

Yeast Breads

When a recipe requires yeast, decrease the amount called for by 25%. You will have to adjust the amount of water and flour needed until you find the right consistency in the dough. Since the dough will rise at a much faster rate, give the dough an extra punch and rise. To slow the rising down, if necessary, put the dough in the refrigerator, covered with a damp cloth, for its first rise.

Why Does This Happen??

No one solution is right for every single recipe. When it comes to baking at high altitudes, you must adopt a laissez-faire attitude and not be disappointed when a recipe does not turn out. It helps to look at it as a challenge and adventure.

Some recipes will be easier to adjust than others. Play around with the ingredients, implement the suggestions, and don't forget to write the adjustments down!

If you are into Bundt cakes, here are some High Altitude Bundt Cake Recipes!



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • gypsumgirl profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Vail Valley, Colorado

      DDE - thanks for reading my hub!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A fun filled recipe and look so delicious. You have included many helpful ways in baking here and I look forward to reading more of your recipes.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)