Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My First Attempt at High-Altitude Yeast Bread

One of my family's staple foods is yeast bread. We have it grilled with bacon and eggs. As an accompaniment with soups and stews. We use leftovers for grilled cheese sandwiches or french toast. The kids adore the smell of baking bread almost a much as my husband and I do. So of course, I knew I would have to tackle high-altitude baking very soon so we wouldn't all starve from the lack of yeast bread in the house.

I had read countless tips on high-altitude baking and adjustments that could be made but nothing gave me a foolproof recipe. I don't enjoy trial and error cooking. It seems like a waste of ingredients to me, but I had no choice this time. I bake all my bread in a bread maker that I requested as a mother's day gift several years ago so I decided to try the manufacturer's tips first. More flour, more water. MAYBE cut back on the yeast.

I think at 5700 feet, I had better cut back on the yeast next time. The bread tasted marvelous (thank goodness), but it deflated and had a bit of a cave-in below the top crust.

However, as my beautiful daughter said to me tonight, "The taste is what matters, not how it looks. And it tastes GREAT!"

The bread did taste wonderful and was perfect with our beef stew on such a chilly, windy night (the trials and errors of how incredibly look it took the beef stew to cook will have to wait for a later date - but that had more to do with stove user error than the altitude). Still, even with the strange meal prep issues I am experiencing, I am happy to be cooking and baking again. After 2 weeks of dining out, I think we were all ready for some home cooked meals eaten together as a family again around our own table.

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