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I used to live at several thousand feet above sea level, but now I live only a few hundred feet above sea level. Will this affect the temperatures and times in my baking recipes (cakes, breads, etc)? If so, how? Does a change in altitude affect any other areas of cooking?

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I think you need to edit your units--surely you meant "meters" or "feet" or something rather than "miles." – bikeboy389 Dec 6 '10 at 20:58
You're actually pretty lucky, moving in the direction you did. Most cookbooks are written for the kind of altitude you're seeing at your new home. So unless you have a bunch of cookbooks written for high altitude cooking, you can now forget about all the adjustments you used to have to make and just cook as written. – bikeboy389 Dec 6 '10 at 21:11
@bikeboy: How do you know he's not from another planet? – Aaronut Dec 6 '10 at 21:29
@bikeboy: I meant maybe he's measuring the distance from Earth's sea level to another planet. I guess it's not funny when you have to explain it, though. – Aaronut Dec 7 '10 at 1:06
Units notwithstanding, the question is about the change in sea level. Even with the scary predictions from Al Gore et al, I don't think the change in sea level itself will change too much about how you cook, aside from availability of ingredients/possible flooding of your kitchen. – PeterL Dec 7 '10 at 1:34
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Usually this question goes the other way around (how to adjust recipes for high-altitude cooking)...

The main effect that altitude has on cooking times and temperatures is how it affects the boiling point of water. At higher altitudes, water begins boiling at a lower temperature, so anything boiling will not reach as high of a temperature, and often needs to be cooked longer.

Higher altitudes can also cause leavening to have a greater effect. You may need to add extra leavening (yeast, baking powder) to get the same amount of rise that you had at a higher altitude.

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High altitude cooking can also require that things be cooked with a cover on or with more liquid to start with, because the lower boiling point means more evaporation. So in your case you may find that you want to cut down the amount of liquid in things, or that it takes longer to reduce sauces. – bikeboy389 Dec 6 '10 at 21:13

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