Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baking at higher altitudes

Ireland is not that far above sea level so at this time of year many people send in e-mails asking what they should do to the Irish Soda Bread recipes on if they happen to live at 7,000 ft. or various higher elevations.

I currently live in the Atlanta, GA area which is around 1,000 ft (about twice that of Tipperary) and I can't remember changing the recipes although I may be doing it subconsciously.  Except for recent snow, this isn't considered a "high altitude" city.

Baking at high altitudes such as 7,000 ft requires some trial and error to determine the exact mixture, but the rule of thumb is to increase by 3 or 4 tablespoons each cup of buttermilk and reduce the baking soda a bit. Also, it is recommended to reduce the oven temperature by about 20-25 degrees and shorten the baking time. Your milage will vary, so start with an adjusted recipe and keep careful notes so that you can repeat the recipe when you find just the right mixture for your altitude and oven.
If you have experience specifically with Irish Soda Bread, please let me know and I'll share that knowledge on the web site.

Here is a book that will tell you much more about baking at higher elevations.

1 comment:

  1. I am about to move from San Jose to Denver, I will let you know when I can make decent soda bread again. I love your site, I am a bread purist so I was thrilled to find your essays =) Currently I am in nearly a panic very having to re-figure out my English Muffin formula.