The upside to this is all the birds who call my garden 'home.' (They get to peck away at my rejects.) Since fewer birds are migrating south these days, they're quite delighted when I screw up.
Here are two hot tips for tackling high altitude bread baking. And, a breakthrough recipe. I really loved the flavor of this one. So much so that the little birdies will go hungry this week.
High Altitude Bread Tips:
- Never let your bread dough double in size. Check after 30 minutes and punch it down. If your bread dough is rising like crazy, it's okay to punch it down twice (vs. once at lower altitudes.)
- Salt is your friend. Worry about your sodium intake with other recipes. Salt is a yeast retardant and a cook's blessing when it comes to high altitude bread baking.
|Light texture. Great crunchy crust.|
~ Stir 1.5 tablespoons dry yeast into 2 cups of warm water. Let it rest for a few minutes. Until you see some foamy action in the bowl.
~ Add 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 cup light vegetable oil to the yeast/water mixture.
~ Stir in 2 cups of bread flour.
~ Sprinkle flour on your counter top. Rub a bit of cooking oil onto your hands to avoid the stickies.
~ Plop the loose dough onto this floured surface and knead 2 more cups of bread flour into the dough.
* Depending upon your elevation, you might want to add one more cup of flour to this recipe. Judge this by how elastic your dough feels. We don't want the dough to feel stiff.
~ Rub your dough ball with a little bit of oil. Place it back in the bowl, in a warm spot, and check it about 30 minutes. Punch it down.
~ Shape it into 2 loaves. Let it rise again. Bake @ 400 (F) for about 30 minutes.
* Bread flour, which is higher in protein, contains a little bit of barley flour. This helps the yeast work properly and provides a more delicious texture.