Q&A High Altitude Baking

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Q: I live at 4,000″ and my bread is coming out flat, any ideas?

A: I haven’t personally experienced baking at that altitude. Living in MN we don’t get to such heights! But I’ve had many people ask about high altitude baking and this is what I’ve found out:

It turns out there is a big difference if you live above 4,000 feet in how the yeast behaves. It wants to rise really quickly, but then it collapses because there isn’t enough structure to support it. In other words you might try things that inhibit it from rising so fast and add more structure to the dough.

Here are a couple things to try:

Decrease the yeast to 1 tablespoon, instead of 1 1/2 tablespoons.

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.

Increase the salt to inhibit the yeast from growing too fast. Unless you find the bread too salty to begin with then leave it as is.

The last thing is to let the dough rise slower and longer before baking because you’ve reduced the yeast.

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.

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189 thoughts on “Q&A High Altitude Baking

  1. I live at 7,000ft and have used your light whole wheat recipe several times on a baking stone with no changes. The bread is very good but the bottom crust is tough–not impossible to eat but tougher than the top crust which is perfect. Does anyone have any suggestions for the bottom crust? I noticed that another commenter had the same problem at altitude.

  2. Hi Lew,

    I wonder if you baked it 75% of the time on the stone and then move the loaf to bake directly on the upper oven rack for the remainder of the baking. It seems to me that the bottom crust would be a bit thinner this way??? Moving the loaf up the top of the oven may also reduce the amount of baking time by a few minutes, so watch it closely.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes.

    Zoë

  3. Thank you, zoe. I will try your recommendation. Web sites like this are what make the internet valuable to people. We should not forget that none of this communications would have been possible 15 years ago. Bye the bye, I bought your book because Amazon recommended it to me and then I read the reviews which were uniformly very good. Another amazing part of the internet. But then, I grew up in a time when people were stunned by te “magic” of TV and hummed to themselves “See the USA in your Chevrolet.”

  4. Lew: One other suggestion if the shelf switch doesn’t help: There’s an old baking rule that goes “bake high in the oven to brown the top crust, bake low in the oven to brown the bottom.” So you might experiment with your initial placement of the stone– maybe higher in the first place will help? Jeff

  5. Thanks Jeff and Zoe for the help. The problem is solved. I have two, yes two, oven thermometers which are in near agreement. One is a Taylor mercury and the other a new MUI. Both said my oven dial was consistently about 25 low. I was adjusting the oven accordingly. I don’t know why, but suddenly I suspected the thermometers… perhaps, my old friend Occam’s razor. I borrowed a professional, accurately calibrated thermometer from a client who runs a local restaurant. And, sacre blue, my oven dial is about 10 high. So I’ve been baking at 35 plus over what I should. The next loaf: Perfect. Crust was super on the top and bottom. So much for cheap thermometers, even if they agree.

  6. I finally came up with a solution at 7300 feet! I have a photo of my success at http://www.nynrecipes.com/2009/06/high-altitude-bread-making-miracle.html
    I tried to keep my solution as close to the original recipe as possible.
    here it is:
    Bread Flour instead of unbleached all purpose white flour
    Yeast: reduce to 1 Tbsp.
    Water: Increase by 1/3 cup
    Water: use cold water
    Proof in refrigerator for 36 hours
    Shape ball quickly so gas does not escape
    Let the ball rest for 14 hours
    -I also checked the temperature of my oven for accuracy and used me le creuset to bake in.
    Thank you Jeff and Zoe for all of your help!

  7. I think I win the prize for the highest altitude. I live at 10,600 ft. Here’s how I tweaked the recipe. I used cold tap water (and my tap water is really cold). I halved the yeast to 2 1/4 tsp and added 1 tsp of salt. I let it rise for five hours and punched it down and put it in the refrig over night. The first time I cooked the bread at 400 and it was a little gummy in the middle. The next time I followed your instructions and it turned out beautifully as did the cinnamon rolls I tried.

  8. I need to clarify that in the above recipe I used 1 1/2 Tbs of table salt and I used all purpose flour. Other than that I followed the rest of your instructions for resting and baking times.

  9. Mary: So you boosted our salt, in effect! You may win the prize for that— some people have suggested that our stuff is already salty, and using fine salt in the same amount is probably boosting it 30%. But I can’t argue with success. At 10,600 feet!

    Assume you stopped punching down? This often makes our stuff less store-able, by knocking all the air out of the batch. Jeff

  10. I live at 9,000 feet and have found that the following works best so far, and produces the best crumb:

    yeast – one teaspoon (yes, teaspoon)
    6 cups bread flour (cut 1/2 cup)
    salt – same
    water – same

    rise, bake, proof – same.

  11. Jeff and Zoe –
    Greetings from Nairobi, Kenya! I just got your book and tried it immediatly – I used local yeast and flour, and since I’m at over 5,000 ft, I cut my yeast down to 1 Tbsp, and upped the salt just a little (Master Recipe). It turned out great! I am so excited to have fresh baked bread that is so easy. Thanks so much! You will soon be the talk of the ex-pat community in Nairobi!

    Kara

    • Fabulous Kara, thanks for writing, and come back whenever you have questions. Glad there was an easy fix for you at 5000 feet. Jeff

  12. I just love your book! Have told everyone about it and given away several loaves of bread that made new devotees of your book.
    This morning I baked the cinnamon-raisin bread and my husband can’t keep the bread knife out of it. I need to bake two loaves the next time! I’m wondering if I can grease a non-teflon bread pan for the second pan.
    Also, can I bake the artisan breads in a bread pan? I usually bake them on the stone.
    And, lastly, I bought some gluten and wondered if I could use it it the basic recipe to see what would happen. I know you can add it to ww and rye flour but what about all white flour recipes?
    Thanks again for some excellent breads. My husband is even in there making his own basic dough and his own bread! Never thought I’d see the day. You have given us so much to enjoy with your book.

    • Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for your note, we are glad you are enjoying the bread. Just so you know, you can leave us a note on any post and we will see it.

      If you use a pan that is not non-stick you may run the risk of it sticking. Some people have lined their pans with parchment and greased them very well to make sure that the wet dough doesn’t stick to the pan. You can bake any kind of dough in a loaf pan, but depending on the amount of dough you will need to increase the resting and baking times to adjust to more dough.

      Vital Wheat Gluten is a wonderful product and in fact we discuss it thoroughly in our second book: Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It can be added to any flour, but it isn’t always necessary if you are using a flour with a fair amount of gluten in it to begin with. If you want to play with it, just remember that it will absorb quite a bit of water and so you will need to add some additional water to the recipe.

      Thanks and enjoy the bread! Zoë

  13. I have recently moved to Lake Tahoe and love baking CInnamon Rolls with a dough that I generally pre make and freeze until needed. When I lived near sea level I never had a problem. While I am still getting great reviews from our new friends on their taste I am having tremendous issues with the centers falling in. The steps I have always taken are as follows. I defrost the frozen dough in the refridgerator to 40 degrees and then roll at night and then place back in the refridgerator unitl baked in the morning. I am wondering is there anything I can add to the pre made dough during the rolling stage to eliminate the sinking center. I made about 25 lbs of dough recently that I would prefer not to waste. I have checked the oven temp and it is accurate and tried baking the cinnamon rolls at 350, 365 and 380 with no luck. Any thoughts? would be appreciated

    Thanks

    Rich

    • Hi Rich,

      Are they fully baked or do they seem to be raw in the middle? How long are you baking them? How large are the buns?

      Sorry to answer your question with more questions, but it will help me to figure this out.

      Thanks, Zoë

  14. Sometime they end up a little raw in the middle when I pull them out but its not consistently raw in the middle. The buns are probably 1/2 inch wider then a “Cinnabon” roll and typically bake to the same hieght as them until they sink. The bake time seems to vary from 23 to 30 minutes. They seem to hold their shape for an hour or so after baking if I do not frost them. If I frost them forget about it they sink from the weight of the frosting.

  15. At 7400 ft. I used hi gluten, organic bread flour and regular recipe. I used a stone in a 450 degree oven w/steam. After 45 minutes, the loaf was still dense and doughy. Any ideas?

    • Maggie: Did you already try a longer rest time, in the cold? I mean, in the refrigerator? Whether you did or not, what rest time did you use? Which of the interventions in this post have you already tried? Jeff

  16. I have not tried any yet, as I did not see any relating to raw dough after 45 minutes. After I posted, I saw your “corrections” page and saw that the boule can rise from 40 min to 1 1/2 hours. I will try letting it rise longer to see if this helps. I think it didn’t cook because the loaf was too dense.

    • Maggie: After you try the longer rise, do try the interventions in this post. I’m sure you’ll end up with something you like. When we say “dense,” we could have just as easily said “raw dough.” Same cause. Jeff

  17. i didn’t take the time to read all comments on high-altitude baking, but i thought i’d offer what i’ve been doing as it’s been working well at 6000′. i’ve been using the whole wheat recipe from the mother earth news website, but subsituting 2c. bread flour for whole wheat flour and leaving the rest of the recipe the same. the only other change i’ve made is a slightly lower baking temp (325 instead of 350). the loaves have been turning out wonderfully!

  18. I have been baking a more or less traditional sourdough bread for years, which is very good (100% KA bread flour). 6000 feet elevation. However, no matter what I do to it, I can’t get big holes. So, I thought, “Aha! Maybe this will work!” Even with your recipe, still can’t get big holes. Have added water til the dough almost flows, baked in a hot oven, a 450 oven, or a 400 oven, and everything else I can think of. I also am not getting as much spring in the oven as I think I should. New yeast, etc., etc. Maybe I’m just incompetent?! In reading thru all this, one thing I have NOT seen mentioned that I think could be involved here, is from my sourdough experience, I am used to a long “rest” and maybe the yeast is “starved out” by the time it gets to the oven. I have noticed the longer the dough is in the fridge (as in 3 or 4 days, not weeks), the lower the rise. Thoughts?

    • Hi Larry,

      It is true, even for us at lower elevation that the dough will eventually lose some of its ability to rise. Perhaps as high altitude this process is accelerated, especially as high as 6000 feet.

      Have you tried adding vital wheat gluten to your dough to strengthen the structure of it?

      You may also have good luck with the Dutch Oven technique, which will give you a super hot environment to bake in and usually promotes a nice crumb? Here is a post about this method: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=552

      Thanks and let me know if either of these things sound helpful. If not, we will think of something else!

      Zoë

  19. I live at 5000′ near Albuquerque, New Mexico and am still trying to finetune the recipe. I have made two batches with less yeast each time; the second time I decreased the yeast to 1 T., let the boule rest for 1 1/2 hours and increased the baking time to 35 minutes.

    My problems are that I only get 2-3 loaves from a batch, and the last loaf in the batch is extremely wet. The first loaf was very good, but still a bit dense. Each time, the last loaf (at end of two weeks) was so wet that it didn’t rise much, and stuck horribly to the stone, even though I tried to work in a bit more flour when I formed it. By the way, the dough did rise more than double during the two hours, and then settled in the fridge.

    Any thoughts as to why the dough is so wet later on, and what to try? (I have not tried cold water or rise only in fridge.)

    Thanks,
    Susan

    • Hi Susan,

      If you are seeing a brownish liquid on top of the dough, you can just pour it off, it is a natural byproduct of the dough and actually acts as a preservative for the dough. Totally normal. However, if you mean that the dough itself is very wet and kind of mushy, this sometimes happens if the dough has sat in the bucket for several days without being touched at all. You can just incorporate more flour to the batch, then you need to let it rest for about an hour before using it. The other option is to mix a fresh batch of dough right on top of this dough. Doing this will give new life to the old dough and jump start the flavor of the new batch.

      The dough will lose some of its rising power towards the end of the recommended storage time, so you may want to use it for flatbreads and not high domed boules. You can also try baking it in a loaf pan.

      Are you trying the refrigerator rise or doing all the rises at room temperature?

      I hope this helps. Thanks, Zoë

  20. Hi Zoe,

    Yes, the dough is definitely very wet and mushy–especially the dough at the bottom portion of the bucket–and it is after not being touched for several days. As you mentioned, the end results have been more like flatbreads. How much extra flour would you recommend adding as a first attempt?

    As for the rise, I have only done the room temperature version so far.

    Thanks so much for your help. This is my first time making bread, and I’m really enjoying the book!

    Susan

    • Hi Susan,

      The amount of flour you add will depend on how much dough is left in the bucket. The goal is to get the dough to feel as it did when you first mixed it up.

      You may want to try the over night refrigerated rise and see if you have better results. Please keep me posted as you try new things, it is so helpful to hear back!

      Thanks, Zoë

  21. Susan,

    I live near Albuquerque in the East Mountains, and am at about 6000 ft. I have had a lot of luck with 1T yeast, full salt amt, water a little under 100 degrees, a three hour initial rise, and doing my rise after shaping in the fridge on parchment for several hours. Overnight rise and bake in the morning, or I do an all-day rise and bake in the evening. I am not sure the crumb is perfect, but it is open and not too wet or dense for my tastes. I use KA unbleached all-purpose for the master recipe, though I leave the water at 3 cups, and weigh the flour to 2 lbs. It has been working really well. I might play with increasing the water since I saw it posted here. But to get 5 loaves, my grapefruit size is a bit on the small size. Not Texas grapefruit, but regular ones. I don’t know if that helps, but I’m in your area.

    Jasmine

    • Thank you Jasmine,

      We so appreciate you sharing your success, it will no doubt be very helpful for others living at high altitudes!

      Happy baking! Zoë

  22. I live at 5000 feet and in general my bread comes out great following the master recipe. Mhy problem is the bread rises in the oven like a popover with the bottom sort of breaking away and pushing the loaf up. does anyone have a solution for that?

    • Hi Kathleen,

      Do you mean there is a large air pocket in the dough like a popover or it is just the shape of one? If it is just the shape of a popover then it could be that the dough is too dry, not resting long enough or you are not slashing it deeply enough.

      Let me know if any of this sounds like possible culprits.

      Zoë

  23. I have just backed my first loaf, it look wonderful but after slicing it when cold the crumb was very dense, the dough did not see very wet when I first baked it I am in a very cold low humidity climate in Montana at the moment, should I add more water to my nex mix

    • Hi Sylvia,

      How high up are you baking? Did you already make some of the changes to the dough for high altitude baking? A dense crumb is pretty common when baking at high altitudes and so you may need to alter the dough to get a lighter crumb. If you have not already done so you may also want to read the other comments, there are some great suggestions from other high altitude bakers.

      Thanks, Zoë

    • Hi Jerry,

      What bread are you baking? If you are baking the Master recipe than the temperature is 450 degrees. Each of the breads is baked at a different temperature.

      Zoë

  24. BIG QUESTION – In the book, the baking stone is to be on the middle rack, and the photo on page 29 shows the broiler pan on the LOWEST SHELF. Then you put in the water AFTER the bread goes onto the baking stone. We are using a 40-year old Okeefe and Merritt Electric Oven, and the bread comes out GREAT BUT – We CRACKED a baking stone. Is this because the steam coming up UNDER the baking stone causes a problem? ALSO – if we put the broiler rack ABOVE the baking stone, on the top-most (broiler) rack, then we’ll have STEAM and water droplets splashing against the top BURNER, won’t that break the Heating Element on the top of the oven? Which is safest – broiler pan UNDER the baking stone, or OVER the baking stone.

  25. Dear Jeff – thanks. This MAY have been the problem – we were using a 25 year old Pizza Stone, which cracked, and we just purchased a 1-2 inch thick rectangular baking stone so we’ll let you know if that cracks. THANKS for the quick response. We just did a happy hour with cut up chunks of home made bread dipped in oil and vinegar and topped with cheeses and veggies. Was a big hit out here in rural Kearny, Arizona. Your bread ideas make it possible for us to have artisan bread every day, and we’re about 100 miles from the nearest upscale bakery. THANKS!

  26. I am vegan and wonder what I can substitute for the eggs in the recipes of the Healthy Breads book which my husband just bought me. I’ve used silky tofu and applesauce in muffin recipes successfully but not sure if it will work w/ yeast breads. I”m esp thinking of the sweet dough for cinnamon rolls and the chocolate bread, tks!

    • Hi Madeleine,

      I know there are vegan egg substitutes, but I have never tried them. I will have to look into it, if I find something I will report back!

      Thanks, Zoë

  27. Oh so disappointing. I live in Denver. I lowered the yeast and allowed the dough to rest in the refrigerator for 2 days as some had suggested. After shaping my bread and letting rise all day it barely grew. I went ahead and baked it and to get the room in the oven for the water I had to move my rack up – dark brown puck.

  28. Jeff – thanks for checking on me – I’m lost on what part wasn’t advocated. I lowered the yeast as suggested – let it rise in the refrigerator longer – as suggested. The only thing I did differently was let it rise all day outside the frig — then baked in the oven with the steam pan. What part did I miss?

    • Hi Lauren,

      Letting the dough rise all day outside the refrigerator will definitely cause the dough to over proof and it will collapse once it hits the oven. If you need to let the dough rise all day it should only be done in the refrigerator where it will rise very slowly.

      Let me know if that helps or if I was confused about your question! Thanks, Zoë

  29. I’m moving to Bolivia this Summer and was going through my cookbooks deciding which would make the cut (luggage weight limit). I was going to leave yours behind because of the altitude where I’ll be (Sucre is over 9,000 ft), but then I found this wonderful site. I can’t wait to make bread there, I love your book!

    • Wow Summer,

      We will be looking forward to hearing about your adventure in baking in Bolivia. Please stay in touch!

      Best of luck with the move and happy baking! Zoë

  30. I am at 7500ft. I can make a pretty good loaf of bread following the Master recipe with the following changes: 1T yeast, a bit more water (~1/3 cup more), and rising in the refrigerator for a day (2 is better). I am curious about using the recipe for the Whole Grain Artisan Bread that was in the NYT a few weeks ago (ok, perhaps a month or two ago). If you are adding in the vital wheat gluten, do you still need to reduce the amount of yeast to 1T? Does that make sense?

    • Rebecca: What recipe in NYT are you talking about? Do you have a link?

      You can reduce the yeast in any of our recipes, whether or not there’s VWG; see the FAQ on that (click above). Jeff

  31. I have reviewed your blog, followed suggestions for adjustments for high altitude, and I am still having troubles with the whole grain breads: less yeast, more vital gluten, even slightly reducing the amount of wheat flour. I do not increase salt and don’t want to do so. We are at 7,000 feet.

    The dough rises nicely on the counter. As soon as it is refrigerated, it deflates considerably. When I put it out to rise on the counter before baking, it rises a bit. When I place it in the oven, it plumps only slightly and every time I end up with a loaf of bread that is very dense in the middle and does not seem to cook thoroughly. I have absolutely no crumb whatsoever. The taste is fine, but it is certainly not what I expect.

    Any other suggestions?

    • Hi Barb,

      Have you tried the refrigerator rise that we discuss for the high altitude baking? The collapsing dough in the bucket is normal for our dough. The other thing is to make sure you are waiting for the loaf to cool thoroughly before cutting into it. Cutting into a warm loaf results in a soggy center. Tasty, but soggy!

      Thanks, Zoë

  32. I live at about 7000 feet and just got my copy of the Healthy Bread in 5 minutes. I have allergies to eggs in my family (specifically albumin). What can I use as a substitute for eggs? I have used buttermilk and egg replacer for cakes but have not tried this for breads. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Hi Jeanne,

      Although I have not tried it myself, many of our readers talk about substituting egg replacer products and even ground flax for the eggs. They claim to have great results. I would recommend that you try a 1/2 batch to test it out.

      Thanks, Zoe

  33. New problem using “local flour”.
    I have been making the “100% Whole Wheat bread, Plain and Simple” in your “Healthy Bread” book. I was thrilled to fine the “variation” at the end of the recipe to make it “American-style honey wheat bread. I also add ground flax seed.
    My goal is to make sandwich bread for my family. I usually double the recipe so there will acutally be some left for sandwiches. We live at ~5400 ft in New Mexico. Initally the bread was raising too much. I used some of the info from this website to help, ie decrease the yeast and keep the water to 100 degrees at the most. I usually use “High Altitude Hungarian stone ground style WW Flour” for the bread. Mainly because that is the least expensive WW Flour available at our grocery store and I have used it for years for any WW flour needs. I was having very good results getting four nice loafs cooked in cast iron loaf pans. I recently was very happy to be able to get some locally grown/milled WW flour (a mill 1-2 hours north in Colorado). Unfortunately it is not working. With the first attempt, it was obvious the dough was too dry. I wasn’t sure how to add water to it at that point, so I went ahead and baked it. It didn’t raise much during both rises or during cooking. I just tried it again, this time not doubling it to make sure I measured every thing correctly, and it did the same thing. I did add a little more water and mixed it in, but just looks too dry and is not raising like it should. I weigh my flour on a digital scale, so I know I’m using the same amount. Any ideas? I love the idea of using local flour, but I can’t figure out why it’s not working. I even opened up a fresh batch of yeast to make sure my yeast wasn’t the problem.
    Any reason this would be happening? Any suggestions for adjusting the recipe? I really want to make WW Bread! Thanks! Sorry so long!

  34. Thanks Jeff. I will continue to play with it when I get the time. I love using your book! Hope I can figure out how to use the local flour with it!

  35. I would like to know if you can use butter instead of oil in the gluten free brioche receipt. My husband feels that the bread is too greasy with the oil and that it does not taste enough like real brioche. Please help. Thank YOu

    • Marcy: That should work, give it a try. May want to experiment with mixtures first to see if it doesn’t change the texture too much.

  36. Thanks for a great recipe. How long can one keep it and still have it good in the refrigerator? I’ve kept it about a month and it seemed to be very, very wet and seemed to ‘split’ when trying to stretch it. I use it as pizza dough mainly. Could I add a few tablespoons of oil next batch to more simulate a pizza dough without problems? Thanks again!

    • Hi Rick,

      We recommend keeping the dough for about 2 weeks for the best results. If you have any dough left over add it to a fresh batch. In our books we have lots of doughs with olive oils and they are delicious. You’ll be happy to know we are in the process of writing a pizza book as well. In fact I am writing to you from Naples, Italy, where I am eating as much pizza as my system will allow!

      Thanks, Zoe

  37. I have read that bread has an internal temperature of 190 degrees when fully baked. Would this be true for whole grain breads as well.? Also, I live at 6,500 feet and was wondering if the temperature would be significantly different since water here boils at 198 degrees.

    • Hi Denise,

      Our loaves, due to the wet dough should bake to about 200-205. I am not sure if this will change at higher altitudes? I will try to find out for you.

      Thanks, Zoe

  38. I live near Denver and read the blog about changes for altitude. I also have your Healthy Bread book where it says to ‘decrease the yeast to 2 teaspoons” but doesn’t say what the starting measure was. On the blog it says decrease from 1 1/2 Tablespoons to 1 Tablespoon – is that the number for whole grains or for the artisoan loaves or both?

  39. I can’t thank you both enough for all the wonderful recipes. I used to bake bread the ‘old-fashioned’ way, but this is SO much easier and we have fresh home baked bread all the time now. It’s always a big hit at family dinners! I do have a question~is there a way to adapt your bagel recipe to make egg bagels?
    Thanks again!!

    • Hi Nancy,

      So glad you are enjoying the breads. I love the idea of egg bagels, haven’t had one in years. We don’t have a recipe that would recreate it exactly, but I bet our Challah recipe would get you pretty close, maybe with less honey.

      Thanks and let me know if you try it! Zoë

  40. There are A LOT of comments on here in regards to high altitude baking. Is your answer at the top your “final answer” on high altitude adjustments?

    I’m trying to figure out what the best solution is before trying all the other suggestions listed in this FAQ page.

  41. Diana: We can’t explain all the diversity of opinion either. All I can say is that it’s probably true that people have differing tolerance to very dense bread– some actually prefer it that way, and don’t have any problem with the dough over-rising and then mostly falling. Some have claimed that our recipe needs no adjustment at altitude, and that’s my only explanation for what must be going on there.

    But yes, we’d stand by our first answer as the place to start. Since it’s a matter of taste, if our approach isn’t quite right for you, start experimenting with the reader’s answers.

    The other possible explanation is that dough probably behaves very differently at 5,000 feet and at 10,000 feet, and we know we have people in those altitudes.

    Jeff

  42. Success!

    I live at 8,300 ft and have gradually been alternating the recipe to achieve a more open hole structure to the bread. Today I had my best success yet! I use bread flour instead of AP and increase the water to 3.5 cups. Today I decreased the yeast to just 2 tsp and the bread had nice open holes for the first time! Yay! Just want to say that no matter my adjustments or using the master recipe, the taste has always been wonderful. I’m just trying to get it less dense. I wonder if I could go down to 1 tsp of yeast?!

    • Hi Kiersten,

      Thank you so much for sharing your results, I’m sure a lot of other folks will find it very helpful! You can reduce the yeast, but it may just take longer to rise?

      Thanks, Zoë

  43. someone will most likely find that it’s not precise enough and is regulated over too high a temperature range. Cooking takes place over a range of 100-250F and a degree of inaccuracy of + or – 10F is not critical. Cooking thermometers will reflect this.

  44. Deeann: Agree– oven thermometers are an approximation– but they’re much better than relying on oven’s displayed temperature, even in oven’s where the display is digital. That has no bearing on thermostat accuracy. Jeff

  45. Hello! I received your book for my birthday, and have been simply enchanted with the idea of easy fresh bread, but I have 3 problems and could not find the answers anywhere: 1) I live at 67,000 feet, and baking here is tricky because normal recipes don’t provide tips for this much elevation. 2) My husband is allergic to wheat and dairy, but can have spelt, can you give me steps to do at least one simple bread using no wheat at all? (he can have gluten, but I don’t know what to add to increases the gluten in the spelt flour, and spelt has a lot more protein than wheat and does not rise well at all!) …and 3) I have a very cheap gas oven, and while I can use a thermometer to calibrate the temperature, does it make a difference because the flame removes any remaining moisture from our already-bone-dry atmosphere? In the past, adding a pot of boiling water to the oven does not seem to create enough moisture to get a nice crispy crust, even on wheat breads. Any ideas? I’m the queen of the brick: looks good on the outside, tastes great, consistency of a hockey puck! lol. Please help!

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