Monday, November 26, 2007

Baking

Who writes a blog about baking? Me. Why? Oh, you'll see...

I'm not one of those moms that loves to bake just for fun. However, I do occasionally like to bake some cupcakes or brownies or cookies - you know, things for dessert. I don't usually bake from scratch, I simply break open a box, crack some eggs, measure some oil, etc. This is my kind of "homemade baking." Now, I have never had any problems in the baking arena, I just don't particularly enjoy it - too time consuming with all the measuring and waiting and stuff. This is how I felt until about a year ago.....

Fast forward a little. I now live in Colorado Springs. Do you know what the elevation in Colorado Springs is? 6,500 feet. Do you know what that means to the average, non-pastry schooled baker? ARGH. That's what it means. Anyone ever tried to bake at that altitude after living your whole life no more than 10 feet above sea level? Trash can. That's what happened to my first attempt at making some cupcakes about a year ago - not too long after we moved here. Aren't there high altitude instructions on the packages, you say! Yep. Do they always work? Nope. They tell you to decrease this and that or add flour and sometimes alter the temperature and the baking time. If you read the high altitude instructions carefully, they say "High altitude: 3,500 - 6,500 feet." I barely qualify in the "high altitude" category. Tell me, is there a "super high altitude" category. Because there are people that live above 6,500 feet. What do they do when baking or do they just not bake?

I tried to bake a nectarine cobbler - because we had a nectarine tree at our rent out and I canned the nectarines before we moved so that I could use them later. I got my grandma's peach cobble recipe (because hers is always soooo yummy) and attempted to alter it a bit to make it high-altitude-friendly. It turned out ok. Instead of taking 45 minutes at 350 to cook, it took over an hour....... I just don't get it and it was tough on the bottom but perfect on the top. Does the amount of oxygen in the air really make that much difference?

For now, I'll just stick to the one brownie mix and sugar cookie mix that I've found that actually work!

1 comment:

kristy patterson said...

Wow, I had never thought about how much living at a high altitude affects baking. I LOVE to bake and am so sorry that the recipes aren't quite working like they're supposed to. Maybe there's some type of high altitude cook book out there that has some good baking tips :)