So, I’m keeping busy baking bread. If you think high altitude gardening is a challenge, try baking a yeast bread from scratch. Dry, thin air wreaks havoc on traditional recipes and Betty Crocker is not much help. Her high altitude recipes say ‘over 3,000 feet.’ I live above 7,000 feet so, with most recipes, I'm winging it.
- Rapid rise yeast is the proverbial recipe for failure. Breads rise faster at high altitudes. I have better luck with an instant active yeast, using less than the recipe calls for.
- A little extra water helps if the dough is too dry.
And, don't worry... even the failures taste great!
Seems silly, to me, to pay $3.50 for a loaf of artisan bread when the ingredients cost about 50 cents. Here's a yummy French Bread Recipe to try the next time you're snowed in.
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (add more water, by tablespoons, until bread dough is moist)
- 1 packet active dry yeast (less 25%, if you're at high altitudes of 5,000 feet or more.)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon shortening, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 1/2 cups flour
* Rising time: approximately 1 hour. 400 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Brush loaf with beaten egg white and water mixture, for a crispier crust.