Baking vs. Cooking

Does anyone know an easy rule-of-thumb for baking at high altitude?  (more flour and more water?  or is it less sugar and less water??)  You’d think I know this by now but it seems to involve math and I’m not good at math.  Point in fact – it came to light over Christmas break when my parents were visiting that I was subjected to something called “new math” during my formative years.  Since I was the middle child, my older sisters escaped the new math debacle.  And since the new math proved to be an epic fail, by the time my younger brother and sister came along, they had moved on to different, awesome, easy, non-scarring-for-the-rest-of-your-life math.

My father – who is a Chemical Engineer (which is a fancy way of saying Math Man Extraordinaire) – tried to explain baking at high altitude once.  It was shortly after my grandmother (a lifelong hot tea drinker) complained to the waiter at the restaurant in the mountain town that her tea wasn’t hot enough.  He (the waiter, not my dad) tried to explain back that water boils at a lower temperature when you’re a mile plus above sea-level.  She wasn’t having any of it (which is your prerogative when you’re 90+, I suppose) and made him bring her a NEW cup of hot tea which turned out to be just as not-hot-enough as the first cup.

But I digress.  My father’s explanation of baking at altitude went something like this…P equals V times R over the sound of your brain imploding.  (please see comment above about how I’m not good at math).

So.  I’m back to looking for EASY rules-of-thumb (or should that be rule-of-thumbs?) for baking at high altitude that don’t involve math??

If so, send them my way.  What with all this TIME I have on my hands, I do quite a bit of baking.  But badly because I can’t adjust the recipes for high altitude.

A batch of brownies all sunken and liquidy in the middle is not a pretty sight!

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