Sunday, April 4, 2010

High Elevation Baking & Cooking

Everything I have cooked with my new oven took longer than the recipes called for (my first and second roasted chicken being the obvious ones). I thought I was going insane, or at least lost my touch with cooking. Then I knew something was really off when I baked my go-to Cranberry Oatmeal cookies, which took about 5 minutes longer than they should have. So we had our oven serviced, but the experts said it was fine but I can calibrate the oven temperature to my liking up to 35 degrees higher. Why would I want to do that? Isn't the 350 degrees displayed on the oven really 350? Yes, but every oven works differently they said. I've heard that before on TV, and still didn't understand. Then my husband suggested that maybe the elevation had to do with it. Bingo.

Little did I know that elevation threw a curve ball in my baking and cooking. Stamford is 360+ft above sea level, compared to only 20+ft where I used to live in NY. Add to it that we now live in a high rise (check out our amazing sunset above). Granted, we're not talking about thousands of feet of difference here, but I will definitely have to adjust my oven to a higher temperature. From what I gather, dough rises faster in high elevation and water takes longer to boil as well. A higher oven temperature will make sure that your dough won't rise more than it should and make water boil in the time that it should.

I've calibrated my oven to 10 degrees higher. So far, I've had success with cooking bone-in chicken breast within a reasonable amount of time. The real test will be another batch of cookies or another roasted chicken. I'll keep you posted!

No comments: