Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baking With Altitude - Eggs

Welcome to Week 5 of How to Fix Common Baking Disasters.  

Week 1 How to Fix Common Baking Disasters
Week 2 Baking With Altitude - Flour
Week 3 Baking With Altitude - Leavening Agents 
Week 4 Baking With Altitude - Fats

Chicago, IL (USA) 625 feet above sea level 
Santa Cruz (Bolivia) 1365 feet above sea level  
La Paz (Bolivia) 13,000 feet above sea level    
Brown Eggs

For the purpose of this post all eggs mentioned refer to chicken eggs. Eggs come in a variety of sizes from small to extra large. If a recipe does not specify the egg size I default to the large size. Brown eggs and white eggs are interchangeable.


Eggs are composed of two main parts, the yolk and the white. The egg yolk is all fat (refer to the week 4 post for more information about baking with fats) and the white is all protein. Inside the yolk is also an emulsifier which helps stabilize mixtures and keep them from separating. The protein in egg whites add strength but too much egg white can dry out a batter.

White Eggs
Eggs create support and structure by helping the batter to set. Eggs also add moisture which helps keep your baked items from drying out to quickly during the longer cooking times of  high altitude baking. In high altitude baking changes in egg quantity are more critical in helping cakes and quick breads maintain structure but not as critical for cookies, bars/brownies or pies.

In addition to containing fat and protein, the moisture contribution of an egg needs to be taken into consideration when contemplating the overall liquid needs of baked goods. Liquids will be discussed in detail in a future post. The ratio of yolk to white may differ slightly but the total egg will usually total 4 Tablespoons.

1 large egg equals approximately 4 Tablespoons.
1 large egg yolk equals approximately 1 Tablespoon.
1 large egg white equal approximately 3 Tablespoons.

Recipes calling for stiffly beaten egg whites, such Angel Food cake, might expand too much and too quickly initially then collapse. You can help remedy this by beating eggs only to the soft peak state.

Chicago, IL (USA)
When converting a recipe from a high altitude recipe to a low altitude kitchen (Chicago) reverse the instructions below by decreasing egg size or quantity.

When converting a recipe from a low altitude kitchen (Chicago) to a high altitude kitchen try the following:
Santa Cruz  (Bolivia)
- Increase by 1 egg white or increase to an egg one size larger (example, switch from large to extra large)
- Beat eggs to soft peak stage rather than stiffly beaten stage
La Paz (Bolivia)

- Increase 1 whole egg plus one white
- Beat eggs to soft peak stage rather than stiffly beaten stage

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Chef Noly
To order saltenas please visit Noly's World Cuisine at
To read more about Bolivia please visit our friend Bella at

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