Q&A High Altitude Baking

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Q: Do I need to adjust when baking your recipes at high altitude?

A: The standard Master Recipe works beautifully, with no adjustment needed, at Denver’s modestly-high elevation (about 5,280 feet/1,610 meters). But many people have asked about baking at more extreme altitudes, like, for example, a hundred miles up the road in Vail, Colorado, at 10,000 feet. If you’re getting dense, flat results at higher altitudes, here are some thoughts:

Altitude can affect how yeast behaves– it rises too quickly, and then it collapses because there isn’t enough structure to support it. So you can try things that inhibit it from rising so fast–and modify the recipe to add more structure to the dough:

Decrease the yeast and give it more time for the initial rise. See our low-yeast FAQ to see how low you can go. This slows things down, which helps with the altitude problems.

Replace the all-purpose flour with bread flour, which has more gluten, which will give it more structure. This may cause your dough to be drier, so you may end up adding a little more water.

Assuming you like the flavor and aren’t on a salt-restricted diet, consider a saltier dough–salt inhibits fast yeast growth. If you go this route, use the higher end of our salt range in the ingredients list (1 1 /2 tablespoons of coarse salt for a four-pound batch).

The refrigerator rise trick may also help with high altitude baking.

More in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and our other books.

Note: BreadIn5.com is reader supported. When you buy through links on the site, BreadIn5 LLC earns commissions.

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219 thoughts to “Q&A High Altitude Baking”

  1. I’m at about 12,000 feet here in La Paz Bolivia.

    I am going to try the following:

    2 teaspoons of yeast
    6 cups of bread flour
    1.5 tablespoons salt
    3.5-4 cups COLD water

    I’ll let you know how it comes out.

  2. Haven’t been to La Paz since 1993, I expect it’s different. But not the altitude– let us know how your experiments turn out. Jeff

  3. Jeff, it is indeed different, even from the last time I was here. Lots of supermarkets now..

    I ended up using more flour, about 7 cups, and it still came out way too watery. Should I just add more flour, or something else? Help?

    1. Carlos: Which of our books are you working from, so I know which recipes you have access to?

      Sounds like the flour you have is too low in protein and you need to increase it. Jeff

  4. Now that the weather here on the mountain(4848) is cold – With wind chill today at minus 27 my bread no longer sings……….suggestion?

  5. I’m impressed with your book about bread in five min. a day. I once had bread that had a mixture of cheese, onion, and green pepper somehow put in it. It always appeared at the top of the loaf after cooking. How can I duplicate this idea with your recipes which I think are great!! Thanks.

  6. re gluten free rcp’s
    here I am adding one more egg (5 not 4) and a little less oil/honey (-5%), and a little hotter oven +475 F
    it’s dry& cool in the house

  7. I’m at 8000 and have no problems with the basic rcp. however I’m am using fire brick (Thick) instead of a pizza stone (thin) and I would like to get the bottom a little darker. Should I try getting the oven up closer to 450 before I start baking?

    1. Hi John,

      If the bottom crust is not dark enough you should try letting the fire brick preheat for longer. It can take 45 minutes or even longer for really thick stones. This should help!

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. I’m in Denver and I have a question. Both batches I have made (the first where I didn’t do the high altitude adjustments and the 2nd where I did), both times when I take the grapefruit size of dough out of the bowl, the dough just rips out… no need for a knife or scissors. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Jenny: Which recipe are you working from (which book and page #). Some of them do “rip” this way.

      Once I know that… did the final result bake up the way you expected?

  9. I live at 7,500 feet and use the gluten-free recipes. The dough is very wet, especially the pizza dough (I finally used a GF pizza dough from Red Mill and that worked quite well.) I’ve tried all the tricks on your web site re: GF dough being too wet, but nothing seems to work. Next, I’m going to reduce the yeast. Wish me well, I love pizza.

  10. Hi Jeff,
    I’m working with the master recipe from the healthy bread book. The final result was yummy and the crust was perfect, but alas, it didn’t rise very much.

    1. Hi Jenny,

      Did the two different batches result in any difference at all? You may want to try the recipe with a couple more tablespoons VWG to counter the high altitude issues. This will give the dough more stretch and allow it to rise better. If your dough was already too dry, you will need to add more water to compensate for the extra VWG.

      Thanks, Zoë

  11. Bought both books, but have only baked Master Recipe out of Artisan book. Live in Utah at 4,900 ft. My dough just rips out like Jenny’s ..even if I let it warm up from 36 degree refrigerator temp before attempting to pull of grapefruit ball. I measure everything exactly, add tiny bit of flour to handle, but am afraid to add more water. Lots of large holes in dough. Bread does rise in oven, tastes & looks great, but may not be quite as high as yours. I’ve not adjusted Master recipe based on reading everyone’s posts here. Any ideas on adjustments I should make to get the “stretch”?

    And, before I forget, THANK YOU for such great, user-friendly, do-able books.


    1. Hmm, it could be related to altitude, but I’m a little skeptical on that, given that you get large holes and decent rise. Is it spreading sideways? In which case you’ll probably like it a little drier. Assume you’ve tried suggestions on this page?

      What brand of flour are you using; are you certain it’s unbleached? Jeff

  12. Flour: Gold Medal unbleached, all purpose, measured using scoop & sweep. Formed ball holds its shape beautifully while it rests. I let it rest about 90-100 minutes, because that’s how long it seems to take before the ball “wiggles”. Interestingly, when dough bakes, it loses its round shape and become more oval. I read all the helpful comments on the FAQ (& your high altitude hints in “Healthy Bread”), but decided not to tamper with Master recipe, because so many reported good results at higher altitude. I’ve wondered if dough should be a bit wetter because it’s not really wet when I handle it….a little sticky, but doesn’t strike me as “wet”. (But I”m a total bread baker novice.)

    I’ve got 2 buckets going now with Master Artisan recipe because of ski house guests this week. When I break off dough, should I use wet, rather than floured hands to work them? Or, is it too late to make dough wetter? The dough was just mixed last night.

    1. Hi Beth,

      You may want to try using “bread” flour instead of all-purpose to get more strength in the dough. This may help the dough keep its shape better. If you do this you will need to add a 1/4 cup more water to the dough.

      Have you watched any of our videos to see if your dough looks like ours? be sure it is of the ABin5 bread dough and not the HBin5 dough. https://artisanbreadinfive.com/?page_id=63

      Thanks, Zoë

  13. Zoe & Jeff, thank you both so much for your responses! I’ve watched all your videos and found them very helpful…especially in shaping the dough. I do think my dough looks a bit drier than yours, but my fingers look like yours when I’m done working with the dough, so perhaps my dough is OK. I’ll make 8 loaves with the 2 buckets I just made and see if the stretch appears in any of the grapefruit balls. If not, I’ll definitely try your suggestion of bread flour & additional water in the next bucket.

    My friends and family think your bread is fantastic, even without the “stretch”, and I’m doing something I’ve never been able to do before. So I’m very much a happy baker….I’d just like to perfect the technique.

    Thanks again!

  14. Hello,

    I have been loving the artisan breads and the whole grain breads for a while. I also subscribe to cooksillustrated magazine and saw that they have a similar recipie to yours. I see in your artisan book that you adapted their recipe to your method which is great. I tried baking your Volcornbrot in my 8qt dutch oven per their method which worked awesomely. The only problem was that I had to use 2lbs of dough to get a decent sized loaf in my dutch ovan. The obvious solution would be to get a smaller dutch oven to bake the 1lb loaves that I would like to make. What sized dutch oven would you recommend to make nice 1lb loaves? I was thinking 4qut might be two small but i’m not sure if 5 or 6 would be best.


    1. Hi Michelle,

      I have used both my 5 and 7qt Dutch Ovens to bake a 1-pound loaf. It is actually ok if the loaf has a little room around it. I think the loaf comes out with a prettier shape if it isn’t crammed against the sides.

      Thanks and enjoy, Zoë

  15. Hi,

    I have made the master recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 a few times now, but the last time I made it the bread tasted very yeasty. Because I live above 6000 ft, I decreased the yeast to a little over 1TB and increased the salt to almost 2 TB. I used unbleached flour. The only difference I can think of on this last batch, is that I just bought a 6 qt bread container and closed it up completely while stored in the fridge. Could you help me figure out why my bread was so yeasty and what I can do better in the future? Thanks!

  16. Artisan bread in 5 min p122 Bagels My 1st batch of 4 came out perfect, I let the dough store in the refrigerator for 7 days then made up the rest- this time the dough didn’t rise after the boiling- the oven was preheated and I added the hot water to the pan in bottom. please help

      1. Just made the same bagel recipe and made bialys as well. The bialys were fabulous! Bagels looked like donuts! Would like to incorporate whole wheat into recipe for the bialys. What amount do we use for both whole wheat and white? Love the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes book…second time because first copy was loaned to a friend who never returned it!

      2. Hi Michelle,

        You can add 1 cup of whole wheat in place of 1 cup of the all-purpose flour without having to change anything else.

        Enjoy! Zoë

  17. Does adding vital wheat gluten slow the rising process down?

    I am just about 7000 ft in altitude, and have tried many combinations of more salt, less yeast, cold water, 10 minute room temp rise, cold rise (in fridge overnight), etc. Results are heavy with hardly any air pockets, but a great crust. In my most recent attempt (rising right now) I have also included vital wheat gluten for the first time.

    Right now, I have mixed

    6.5 c King Arthur AP unbleached flour
    2 tsp yeast
    1.75 tbs kosher salt
    3.25 c cold tap water
    2.25 tbs vital wheat gluten

    and it has hardly risen after an hour at room temp – ack! In other attempts the dough would be up to the edge of the bowl by this point (if I let it). Do you see anything I have clearly done wrong? Thank you!

    1. Maggie: Boy, with a cold-water start, I wouldn’t expect to see much rising at 60 minutes– it’ll take longer than that to reach room temp with wintertime tap water in cool climates.

      But– you may need more water– this isn’t our recipe, ours is wetter. Which book of ours are you using? Jeff

  18. I live in Colorado Springs (6,000 ft.) and tried baking your Master Recipe from the “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” book a couple days ago — it was a disaster (dough too dry, dough did not rise). Today I tried again using a fresh bag of King Arthur unbleached bread flour and a fresh jar of Red Star yeast. I also made the following adjustments for high altitude: decreased yeast to 1 Tbsp., added 3 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten,increased water to a little over 3-1/2 cups, decreased oven temperature to 425. I think I got the dough a little TOO wet this time, but it rose beautifully and the loaf came out of the oven looking great. However, when I cut the loaf in half down the middle, the bottom part (about 1 inch) was not done, and on the outside the bottom crust was not browned like the rest of the loaf. Any suggestions for my next try?

    1. Elaine: I can’t imagine that altitude had anything to do with your initial “too-dry” result, shouldn’t affect that. So I’m at a loss. Did you use offbeat flours?

      Most important thing to check before going any further– oven temp, with something like https://bit.ly/czmco2 or the CDN one that comes straight from Amazon (don’t have the URL handy).

      Also, are you using an oven stone? How long did you preheat?

      1. The flour I used with my initial attempt was well past its expiration date and had not been stored in an airtight container, so I’m sure that was why my first attempt failed — that, plus the fact that I didn’t make ANY altitude adjustments the first time but just followed your recipe exactly. As for my second attempt, I did use an oven stone, and I did preheat my oven all the way to 425 before putting the loaf in. My oven is pretty new and I think the temperature is accurate. Do you think the altitude adjustments I made need further tweaking? Less water? Decrease yeast further?

      2. Hi Elaine,

        What dough are you baking that calls for 425°F?

        The stone will often take up to 45 minutes or longer to reach the full temperature, depending on how thick the stone is. The oven will say it is preheated way before the stone is ready. Your bottom crust and the under baked crumb are an indication that your stone isn’t preheated long enough. An independent oven thermometer is really the only true measure of the oven’t temp.

        I think the dough sounds like it is fine.

        You also need to allow the bread to cool before cutting into it or it may seem under baked.

        Thanks, Zoë

      3. Zoe, as I mentioned above, reducing the temperature from the 450 in your Master Recipe for artisan bread to 425 was an adjustment I made for high altitude. I will try using the same batch of dough tomorrow to bake it at 450 and will preheat the oven longer. Will let you know if that works. Thanks!

    2. OK, I tried baking my second loaf from the batch at 450, instead of the reduced 425. That worked better, but there was still a small amount at the bottom of the loaf that was not fully cooked, and the bottom was browner than the first loaf but still not as brown as the rest of the loaf. After this, I went out and bought an oven thermometer. Before I use it to test my oven, I’d like to know if I should set the thermometer in the middle of my baking stone to test oven temperature, or should I remove the stone from the oven for the temperature test? Also, I’m wondering if the bottom of my loaf would get browner if I used cornmeal on the bottom of the loaf instead of parchment paper?

      1. Hi Elaine,

        Test the oven with the stone in, that way you will know exactly how long the stone takes to heat up. Using parchment will act as a slight insulator, so the bottom crust will brown more if you slide the loaf off of the paper for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking.

        Thanks, Zoë

      2. I tried baking my third loaf from the batch (basic artisan recipe from original book) at 460, and that turned out better, but still not quite perfect. Next I tried mixing up a loaf of your basic whole wheat bread from your second book (the recipe featured in your YouTube video) — I increased the water by 1/4 cup, cut the yeast down to 1 tablespoon, and increased the oven temp to 460. It came out very well — still slightly denser near the bottom than in the rest of the loaf, but very tasty.

      3. Elaine: Maybe half as much water as you increased? If you haven’t tried the increased rest time (60 or 90 min), do that as well.

  19. Follow-up question: Any suggestions as to what I can do with the remaining dough in my refrigerator? (I have 3 loaves’ worth left.) Even if there’s no way to “rehabilitate” it to use to bake loaves of bread, could it be used for something else, like maybe naan?

    1. Elaine– yes, flatbreads in general are more forgiving than loaf bread. Or you can use a little of the old dough to jump-start the flavor process in dough meant to age in the fridge.

  20. So, I don’t live too far above sea level, only 2192ft, in Edmonton, AB. But I have been making the 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf from the first book and my bread always flattens while baking. It rises alright, but then becomes flat and quite dense. I have tried steam while baking. And then I have tried adding 2 tbsp of VWG. Neither has helped. What else can I try?

      1. So, I use a measuring cup to measure the flour and use that scoop and sweep method. I think the dough is wet enough, though I find when I shape the ball sometimes it comes apart in the middle and then I am left with a ring that I have to bring back together into a ball. Why is that? Am I too vigorous in forming the ball?


  21. I live in Denver, 5280 ft amsl. I’ve made the basic recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 min/day book (first one?) many many times with decent luck. Chewy crumb, thick crispy crust. I use unbleached high altitude Hungarian Flour. I have no idea if the high altitude part of that means it is for high altitude baking or if it was made from wheat grown at high altitude. I often replace 2c of flour with whole wheat. The calzones turn out especially well. Today I’m trying 2 c wheat, 1 c rye, and 3.5 cups unbleached white flour with 1T yeast and 1.5 T salt.

    I find that storing/rising the dough in my salad spinner bowl with lid (minus the inner grid bowl and spinner mech.) works GREAT.

  22. I live at 4,950 ft., and I’ve had quite an odyssey trying to achieve oven spring. I first started trying an artisan bread using a recipe from a Julia Child cookbook. Result no oven spring. I then tried your “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. Result no oven spring. Then Peter Reinhardt’s “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice”. No oven spring (but learned how to make a great sourdough starter). Then Reinhardt’s “Artisan Breads Every day”. No oven spring. Then Jeffry Hamelman’s “Bread” (first edition). FINALLY, oven spring. I tied to figure out what was the difference in Hamelman’s method than in most of the other bread making methods. First was a decrease in mixing and kneading time and the second was the extensive preshaping and final shaping. For me the important difference seemed to be the extensive pre- and final shaping giving the dough structure (since Artisan Bread in 5 requires little mixing and no kneading, knocking out difference # one).
    So here is what I’ve done to get oven spring:
    1) Remove dough from fridge and do a stretch and fold. Let rest for 10 minutes with a plastic container on top.
    2) Do preshaping according to Hamelman and let rest 20 minutes.
    3. Shape according to Hammelman.
    4. Place on parchment on thin flexible plastic cutting sheet.
    5. Place in proofing box (cheap, plastic blanket/clothes box with water placed round the edges and used upside down.
    6. Let rise 90 minutes.
    7. Oven preheated at 440 F for 30 minutes.
    8. Preheated a cheap(er) 5.5 qt enameled cast-iron oval casserole for 20 minutes.(My range has really, really good oven vents.)
    9. After scoring, spritzed the bread with water, and using the flexible plastic cutting board placed the bread with parchment (initially cut to size of the casserole)into the casserole.
    10. Baked for 28 minutes with lid on, and then 12 minutes with lid off.

    For me the bread comes out of the oven crackling and the crust stays crisp and the crumb is good. I bake my bread shaped as a batard. After a 90 min raise the bread (1/4 recipe) was ~ 8 X 4.5 X 1.75 inches, while after baking was ~ 9.25 X 6.75 X 3.25 inches.
    For me this is great spring; previously the bread would widen out but not increase in height, so anything significantly greater than 1.75 inches is wonderful and exciting for me. I did find that after 60 minutes the dough was jello jiggaly so may try a shorter raise, since for me, I find that if I let the bread rise to much the oven spring is worse. Hope this helps someone.

    Love the inventiveness (and taste) of your recipes Zoe and Jeff. Thanks.

  23. Hi Jeff, to HA bakes the only adjustment I made (live at 7,600) was to cut the yeast by a 1/3. I read Jeff’s suggestion to cut the yeast, I didn’t not make any other adjustment. Perfect bread & pizza. Great book for HA bakers, finely real Bread! Thanks

  24. Hello!
    I just moved from 1500 ft to 5000 ft. I would like to make the enriched dough (for cinnamon rolls, brioche, challa). Before I “waste” all that butter, honey and eggs, though, I wanted to check and see if there are any alterations I need to make.
    Thank you!

  25. Hello Jeff & Zoe,

    I am just making your GF Crusty Boule for the first time, live and 7,600 FT in Durango, CO and forgot to decrease leavening/yeast in the recipe for accommodating high altitude baking. I measured everything as suggested for normal altitude. Any suggestions to alter recipe at this point, before I add wet ingredients? Also, I don’t have a dutch oven and will be baking it on a stone with the water tray in the bottom. Does the temperature need to be adjusted for this altitude. Thank you in advance for your response.

    Warm wishes,

    1. Hi Linda,

      Such an interesting question. We have never tried the GF dough at high altitude and you are the first reader to report trying it. If you have a scale, you can try splitting the dry ingredients in half and just make a half batch, using half the water. If that batch doesn’t result in a bread you are happy with, you can just add more of the flours to the remaining half, but don’t add any more yeast.

      Please let me know how it goes! Thanks, Zoë

      1. Well Zoe…we baked the first batch of bread last evening. While it didn’t look like your sea-level altitude Boule, it was delicious…more like a yeasty soda bread. (It was extremely gummy coming out of the bowl, yet I just followed the instructions on covering with oiled wrap to rise 90 min.) Forgot to put the water pan in the oven (really?????????)….baked it on a prepared pizza/bread stone as instructed and it still had a nice crust. It was a dense bread, yet not like a hockey puck, which can often happen with high altitude baking when the leavening isn’t reduced. So I’d like to congratulate you and Jeff for your inventive creation of combinations of flours to make a GF loaf that doesn’t taste like cardboard and is gummy inside!!!! Brilliant!

        One note, I did add a bit more salt in the recipe after measuring all the ingredients according to the sea-level recipe, as per a comment on your website for correcting leavening at high altitudes. This may have been the saving grace. Also added about 2 more TBLS of the sorghum flour in the dough as it was really, really soft. And my sweetener was coconut nectar, since we’re mostly avoiding sugar.

        Thank you both for your efforts. I will let you know upon the next batch that I’ve adjusted for high altitude to see if we can get the Boule a bit loftier with an even crustier outside.

        Til then……

        Best wishes,

  26. I’m making my second batch of Oat Flour bread from AB in 5, Page 174. This seems like a VERY wet dough and I have added additional flour both times. Are the measurements in the printed recipe OK? Should I try using less water?


    1. Yes, it’s correct. But oat flours are pretty non-standard and may vary in the amount of water they absorb. Might be more efficient to decrease the water to 3 cups, but increasing the flour’s OK too.

  27. I can make great bread at home at at altitude!!! I am only slight joking when I say this is life changing. I live at 8800 ft and haven’t had much luck before with anything requiring a rise. But I’ve made a couple perfect loaves with this techique:

    I used the traditional boule recipe but only used 1 tbsp yeast.
    I prepared the dough according to the instructions, let it rise a few hours before refrigeration.
    I prepared the boule according to the instructions.
    I preheated the oven on convection to 500 with an empty cast iron enamel Dutch oven in the oven.
    I baked at 500 (convection) for 15 min with the lid on. Then reduced to 450 (convection) and baked for 15 min with lid off….

    Beautifully risen. Crackly crust. Moist interior.

    Two problems:
    1. Waiting for it to cool completely must be a violation of the 8th Amendment. It’s cruel and unusual punishment that I just cannot abide.
    2. I’ve had bread and butter for dinner the past 3 nights. Excessive weight gain foreseeable. I promised my husband that I’d stop before I couldn’t leave the house.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for the note, this is great to know! Enjoy all the bread and you’re not alone in feeling tortured by the cooling loaf. 😉

      Cheers, Zoë

  28. Hi Jeff and Zoe,

    I live at about 5600 ft elevation and the only adjustment I am making is just 1 Tbl. of yeast. I am making the 100% whole wheat artisan bread from your HB in 5. The flavor is really good and my husband and I love it. My problem may be a little unusual in that I am having trouble with a too crusty crust. When I go to slice a piece of bread my bread knife tends to slide sideways down the loaf and try to cut me. It is a little scary. I do not use steam because my reading leads me to believe that makes for a harder crust and I think I need a softer one. Any ideas for me?

    Thanks, Vicki

    1. Have you checked your oven temp with something like https://ow.ly/8CVPU ? A too-cool oven, for example, requires longer baking, during which time the crust gets hard and tough (as opposed to nicely crisped). Softer crust: yes, cut out the steam, and consider painting the top crust with oil or melted butter. For max softening effect do it just before baking, and when it comes out of the oven.

  29. Thanks Jeff,
    I have to admit that I am not always as patient as I should be, but I have moved my thermometer so that it is easier to read and promise to wait until it reaches 450 degrees. I will also remove the bread from the oven at 35 minutes. I tried melted earth balance spread on top of the loaf after I took it out of the oven yesterday and it seemed to help. Thanks again, Vicki

  30. Hi

    I am trying to make the GF master recipe at 8,000 ft. I live in Denvee so the closet is dry but I feel that the dough us wet enough. Should I reduce the yeast? If so, by how much. My bread is riding about half of what your in the picture is doing.

    1. Altitude makes bread rise too much, too quickly, and then collapse (you didn’t say if you saw that happening so I’m guessing that it’s just anemically rising). So something other than altitude is the problem. Tell me which recipe are you working from, which book and page number–then we can go over ingredients etc.

      About lowering the yeast: see our FAQ tab and click on “Yeast: can it be decreased in the recipes?”

      1. Hi Jeff

        I am working from the GF artisan brad in 5 a day book. The recipe is the crusty sandwich loaf on page 85 using the master recipe with egg added. The dough is not rising and then collapsing it is, instead, rising very slowly and never reaching the same rise as in the photo. On both the initial rise and the final rise, I am allowing the dough to rise the full time listed. I warm the oven just slightly to ensure that the dough is in a warm environment instead of the top of the cold counter.

        I have made this bread 3 times. The first time the dough, I believe,was a bit wet. I watched all of your videos I could find to try to see the wetness of your dough. None of the videos show this well but I do believe that on the 2nd and 3rd attempt the dough was correct.

        I am using red star active dry yeast which I recently bought and store in a ziplock in the fridge.

        I am using Bobs Red Mill flours. I am following the recipe exactly with the only difference being that I have to use an egg replacer since I cannot eat eggs. The egg replacer that I am using has worked in all of my other baking recipes. Perhaps I should try doubling it?

      2. Hmm. Here’s what we found about gluten-free dough: it’s much, much more finicky than wheat dough. We’d make one minor ingredient change for some flavor effect, and suddenly the recipe wouldn’t work at all. I think that’s what you’re seeing. We never tested with egg substitute, so we can’t vouch for how things will turn out if you use that.

        Here would be an experiment to see if the egg substitute is the problem: Just make the standard no-egg version of the dough on page 64. If you have the same problem, it’s something else. The likeliest culprit? Inadequate mixing–the GF dough has to be completely emulsified or you get an inadequate rise. Stand-mixer works best…

  31. Jeff

    Actually, the first of three attempts was without egg. I thought that maybe it didn’t ride because of the lack of egg.

    I also use a stand mixer but perhaps I’m not mixing it long enough?

    1. Possibly, so try mixing it for longer– till it looks completely smooth. Also–understand that this GF just doesn’t rise as much as wheat-based breads. Expectations may be part of this?

  32. I want to make the brioche and live outside of denver co at just above 5000ft. Should I use vwg and how do I adjust anything else for the brioche?

      1. It is from the “ABin5m the discovery that revolutionizes home baking” copywriter 2007 pg 189-190 and I’ll be using a loaf pan and cutting the recipe in half. Sorry I forgot that important info.

      2. Thanks! Cutting by half won’t change anything, and we’ve found that this altitude level doesn’t much matter for most reader’s taste (and our own). See above, about Zoe’s baking experiments in Denver. Seems the threshold for problems wit out method is more like 9,000 feet.

  33. Thanks Jeff. Just wanted to make sure since this is brioche and the texture is different from other breads. I’ll give it a whirl.

    1. I finally made the bread and it came out pretty good. It was in the fridge for about 4 days and then I separated the dough into 4 and froze 3. I followed the directions to let it rest 1hr 20m after putting it in a prepared pan. My only complaint is that it was slightly on the heavy side. I expected the bread to be lighter. Any suggestions? Or is this how the bread should be.

      1. Well… could be a measurement inaccuracy, and too much or too little flour can cause density. Could try weighing the flour (4.8 to 5 ounces per cup).

        Also, could try up to a 2 hour rest before baking and see if that yields a little more rise.

        If the frozen dough yielded the denser result, that wouldn’t surprise me. Also, longer-stored dough will be denser.

      2. I will try the rise at 2 hrs for the remainder of the dough and will weigh out the flour on my next batch because each quarter piece was approximately 1.175 lbs. Thanks

      3. Yep, once you start weighing, you can experiment with slightly wetter or drier dough and see if that’s more to your liking.

  34. Hi there, I’m working off your new book (after gifting the old to a friend) and am struggling with the plain ol master recipe. my dough is STICKY to the point of being almost unmanageable. But, there’s a lot of things that could be wrong.. I’m in Guanajuato, Mexico, at 6800ft and using a gas stove. I have what I think is plain white flour and then “harina integral” which I think is whole grain (not sure about whole wheat – it’s pretty light colored). I decreased the yeast by half, doubled the salt, and let it rise on the counter for like three hours before refrigerating it overnight. The next morning the dough was so, so sticky. I doused it in flour during the cloaking process but my hands still looked like I dipped them in plaster. I created kind of a tasty loaf, but it spread horizontally and came out like a rather poofy flatbread. Also, I’m cooking on parchment paper in a mexican covered cazuela pot (lid lined in foil) because I can’t find baking stones or broiling pans to save my life down here. What can I do to make my dough more manageable? More initial flour?

    1. Hi Erika,

      I’d start with more flour. Since you are unsure of the kind of flours, it may be that it is a low protein flour, which means it will make a wet dough with little structure. Are you just using the plain flour or did you add some of the harina integral (whole wheat) as well?

      Baking in the covered cazuela is perfect, since gas stoves don’t typically produce as nice a crust. There is no need to line it with foil, unless you always do.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Thanks for setting us straight on that! We’re prairie-dwellers.

      We definitely don’t have the expertise to comment on baking soda–not our thing! Check with websites or books by Alton Brown or Shirley Corriher, great food-science oriented food people.

  35. I’m confused about the rising recommendations given in High Altitude Baking. I’ve made oat flour bread many times ( in New Artisan Bread p 174) and I love it, but it’s a little dense. The High Altitude suggestions say to do the initial rise in the fridge, but then in parentheses it say “see refrigerator rise.” The refrigerator rise is for the rest after shaping, isn’t it? So do I do both in the fridge?

    1. Thanks, nobody has pointed out the problem there before. I’m wishing I hadn’t referenced the refrigerator rise trick after all. It’s confusing, because the intention was only to do the initial rise in the refrigerator. Note that it’s going to take a long time to rise, but that’s what you want at high altitude. Sending folks to the refrigerator rise page was really an effort to just talk about putting dough in the refrigerator, which no one really needed advice about!

      But I have a question for you… At your altitude, are other recipes from the book coming out dense? What altitude are you at? I have found that Denver isn’t a problem, about 5200 ft. But the real question is whether the other recipes are coming out dense. If they’re not, it’s not your altitude. I should say… that the oatmeal bread is a pretty dense one, including at sea level.

      1. Thanks for the clarification. I am in Denver, but I do feel like my other breads do come out a little more dense than I’d like. (I’ve made bread the regular way for decades.) I did try the oatmeal bread with the high altitude modifications, and it definitely rose more; it was still a dense bread, as you said, which may be part of the reason I love it. Thanks again!

      2. Yep, the oats increase density, for sure. And the longer you store the dough, the denser the result, so you may want to store and use it up quicker (make smaller batches?).

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