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high-alt-ckng-msg – 9/5/09

 

Cooking medieval food and feasts at high altitudes.

 

NOTE: See also the files: headcooks-msg, hot-weth-fsts-msg, kitch-toolbox-msg, p-menus-msg, p-feasts-msg, feast-decor-msg, bread-for-fsts-msg, fd-transport-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2005 10:20:09 -0700 (GMT-07:00)

From: smcclune at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] High Altitude Cooking (was Cooking In Atenveldt

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

-----Original Message-----

From: "Jonathan and Rebecca Barber" <barber at runbox.com>

We've test-cooked it once and made some modifications.  Now we need to

test cook it up there (Erud Sul is Flagstaff, which sits around

6500-7000 feet).  I have no experience cooking at that altitude so it

will be an interesting experiement the first time!

<<<

 

Speaking from personal experience ... in general, things will take

longer to cook, especially boiled things.  For example, a pot of

veggies that would take, say, ten minutes to cook at sea level will

take around 2-5 minutes longer at altitude.  Baked goods (such as

custards and pies) will also take a little longer.

 

And I'd highly recommend baking your bread at home and just bringing it

along, if that's an option.  Adjusting bread recipes to account for

altitude (as well as lack of humidity) can be tricky, though if you

like, I can put you in touch with people who have done it successfully.

  (I'm personally rather bread-challenged, but working to overcome that

handicap <grin>.)

 

For roasted meats and such, you will probably not notice any difference

in cooking times.

 

Arwen

Long-time resident of the Barony of Caerthe, Outlands

(Denver, CO a.k.a. "The Mile-High City")

 

-- who adds that many of our camping events are held in the nearby

mountains, at 7,000-9-000 ft.  :)

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2005 2354:58 -0700

From: Sheila McClune <smcclune at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: High Altitude Cooking

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

>> -----Original Message-----

>> From: "Jonathan and Rebecca Barber" <barber at runbox.com>

> Followup question - I just found out that the site has only convection

> ovens - do standard conversions apply or does the altitude make a

> difference there?

<<<

 

Well ... embarrassing as it is t admit it, I've never actually used a

convection oven <sheepish grin>.  I know there are other Outlanders on

this list, though ... perhaps some of them have experience in this area?

 

>>>>

> Our current plan is to get the bread made and I may well make the

> spaetzle at home (1200 feet or so).  We'll see.  We're going to test

> cook the whole thing up there just to see.

<<<

 

I think the "make the spaetzle at home and heat it in a roaster" plan

sounds like a great idea. :)  So does test cooking at the feast

altitude.  I've got lots of stories of friends who have gone off

backpacking in the mountains at 10,000+ feet and then wondered why they

were having so much trouble getting the spaghetti to cook!

 

>>>>

> Oh, do cookies have any modifications needed?

<<<<

Yes, generally when I make cookies, I add a little more flour (1-2

tablespoons per standard batch of chocolate chip cookies, for example).

If you don't, they spread out and get really flat.  You'll also need to

cook them for a minute or two longer.

 

Arwe

Caerthe, Outlands

(Denver, CO)

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 08:22:26 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] High Altitude Cooking (was Cooking In

        Atenveldt

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Followup question - I just found out that the site has only convection

> ovens - do standard conversions apply or does the altitude make a

> difference there?

>

> Our current plan is to get the bread made and I may well make the spaetzle

> at home (1200 feet or so).  We'll see.  We're going to test cook the whole

> thing up there just to see.

>

> Oh, do cookies have any modifications needed?

>

> Ru

 

The differences in cooking at altitude are caused by the pressure

differential between altitudes.  The differences apply to all ovens and,

generally, all foods and cooking methods.  You will need to alter

temperatures and times for every 3000 feet in altitude.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 17:11:23 -0500

From: "Martin G. Diehl" <mdiehl at nac.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: High Altitude Cooking

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

>> Followup question - I just found out that the site has

>> only convection ovens - do standard conversions apply

>> or does the altitude make a difference there?

 

With the oven providing a somewhat calibrated cooking

temperature, probably not.

 

The rules about high altitude cooking apply to foods cooked

in boiling water ... because ...

 

     The reason ... is because the boiling point of water

     changes with altitude. As you go higher, the boiling

     temperature decreases.

 

     At sea level, the boiling point of water is 212 degrees

     F (100 degrees C).

 

     As a general rule, the temperature decreases by

     1 degree F for every 540 feet of altitude

     (0.56 degrees C for every 165 meters).

 

     On top of Pike's Peak, at 14,000 feet, the boiling point

     of water is 187 degrees F (86 degrees C). So pasta or

     potatoes cooked at sea level are seeing 25 degrees more

     heat than pasta or potatoes cooked on Pike's Peak.

     The lower heat means a longer cooking time is needed.

 

Quoted from How Stuff Works:

"Why do many foods have High Altitude Cooking Instructions?"

http://science.howstuffworks.com/question63.htm

 

In the case of a 10,000 ft. elevation, water boils at

193.5 degrees F instead of 212 degrees F.

 

>> Our current plan is to get the bread made and I may

>> well make the spaetzle at home (1200 feet or so).

>> We'll see.  We're going to test cook the whole thing

>> up there just to see.

 

I know that spaetzle is cooked in boiling water -- the

recipe that I use says to wait for it to rise to the top.

 

Can someone say the "rise to top" compensates correctly

for water temperature?

 

> I think the "make the spaetzle at home and heat it in a

> roaster" plan sounds like a great idea. :)  So does test

> cooking at the feast altitude.

> I've got lots of stories of friends who have gone off

> backpacking in the mountains at 10,000+ feet and then

> wondered why they were having so much trouble getting

> the spaghetti to cook!

 

P.S. I hope nobody becomes upset upon hearing that the

temperature of boiling water is not a constant.

 

Vincenzo

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 11:32:25 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] baking at high altitudes

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Lower air pressure causes some problems in baking.  Rise occurs when the

dough traps CO2 in the strands of gluten.  Vigorous CO2 production can cause

outgassing from the dough reducing the rise.  However, I will say that I

haven't had much problem with baking basic white bread at altitude with a

properly stored yeast.  When I encounter such a problem, I'll check the

baking at altitude information in The Joy of Cooking.

 

One needs to be even more careful with chemical leavens at altitude.  In

fact a number of recipes, reduce the amount of chemical leavens above 3000

ft.

 

Temperature control also becomes more critical at altitude.  Water boils at

less than 212 deegrees F (100 degrees C), which can produce a dry or an

underbaked product.

 

The problem with a pressure cooker is that it retains moisture which would

effect the quality of the crust and crumb of bread.  It's an interesting

idea that might just work for some kinds of bake goods.

 

Bear

 

========

Shoshanna said:

<<< I'll see if I can lighten it up some and I'll post my success or failure

whichever it is.  At over a mile up yeast does some strange stuff so who

knows! >>>

 

You mentioned this before in another message as well but you also

mentioned that it was dry? cool? there also as well and I was  wondering

if it was the dryness or the altitude which was bothering  the yeasts.

Does starting with more yeast not solve this problem? Or  is it less that

the yeast aren't multiplying but that they don't put  out as much CO2?

Bear, other bakers? any comments? I might have  thought that the lower air

pressure might make the generated CO2 go  further and puff up the bread

more.

 

For many other dishes I guess you can solve things by using a  pressure

cooker, but I guess that doesn't work for baking...

 

Stefan

 

<the end>



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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org