Author Topic: How altitude affects pizza making ... ?  (Read 64 times)

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Offline jvp123

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How altitude affects pizza making ... ?
« on: Yesterday at 09:32:22 AM »
I'm currently visiting family who live at an altitude of over 6000 ft.   I made some NY dough balls in LA and brought them with me in a cooler.  They had been cold fermenting for about 72 hours with KABF at 63% Hyd and .25 IDY. 

The results were tasty but my bake times were about 20% longer and I found there to be a little less oven spring or air bubbles in the crust.  The pizzas just seemed denser.  Now -- An important note is that I also used a rolling pin whereas I normally hand skin.

Does anyone know if higher altitude affects the bake time and oven spring/airiness of the crumb?  Or perhaps the altitude affected the bake time, but the rolling pin
pushed out the air bubbles making a denser crust.   I suspect its the latter, but curious if anyone has experience with cooking at altitude and how it affects pizza making.

Thanks,
Jeff







Offline mitchjg

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Re: How altitude affects pizza making ... ?
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 10:03:37 AM »
You may want to read through various posts by member Jackie Tran (chau).  You can do an advanced search in the forum for keyword "altitude" and user Jackie Tran". 

Chau lives in the New Mexico high desert. He mentions altitude adjustments many times. - definitely higher hydration ( certainly the dry desert climate matters).

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How altitude affects pizza making ... ?
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 05:19:25 PM »
The keyword elevation is also a good search term. Bill/SFNM is also another member who lives in New Mexico and has written on several occasions about the effects of altitude.

Tom Lehmann posted on the subject at Reply 5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=15317.msg151263#msg151263.

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: How altitude affects pizza making ... ?
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 06:29:43 PM »
The pizza should have taken less time to bake (less energy required to drive off moisture due to lower boiling point) and risen higher due to greater gas expansion from lower atmospheric pressure. Rolling pin is probable culprit. Also oven temperatures are highly variable. It is possible you were baking at a lower temp than you are accustomed.


Bill/SFNM

Offline moose13

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Re: How altitude affects pizza making ... ?
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 07:08:53 PM »
I better read up as we are at 7001'

Offline jvp123

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Re: How altitude affects pizza making ... ?
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 09:34:46 PM »
Thanks so much for the replies everyone.  To be honest I never noticed the "advanced search" tab up there.  I always used the search section in the top right corner to varied degrees of success.  I'll try using that more in the future so as not repeat previously covered topics.  Sorry about that.

I must admit Bill that your scientific response was fascinating to me.  It was the complete opposite of what I was thinking - I would have never known about the science behind the affects of boiling points and atmospheric pressure.  You learn so much here.

I agree that the rolling pin was most likely the culprit to my "denser" pies.  I used the rolling pin as a bit of a test as I am still terrible at skinning even, thin pies.  The rolling pin "crutch" was super easy and the pie looked perfect.  It just lost all of those wonderful air bubbles and the light airy quality I like. 

I'll be back to hand tossing (and lower altitudes) for my next bakes.

Jeff