Knowledge Base > Dan Marek - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Dan Marek - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Dan Marek in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to cours… Read More.



Could you please explain how to adjust cooking temp and time for higher elevation . I went from 1,700 elevation in CA to 6,500 in CO . I make Cornish pasties so I’m dealing with short crust pastry . Should I add more or less water to dough ?

— Kerry Adams


So this is a complicated one carry. Actually my in-laws. This is one of their Specialties. They love Cornish pasties. They make them all the time. They are in Wisconsin though. So it's a little more, you know, kind of sea level there. but We're talking about pastries especially at different elevations. There's a lot to consider into this. You know, I actually wrote our Fran Costigan on this particular. She gave me a pretty good answer back. She's our expert vegan Baker and dessert expert. So this really kind of isn't her wheelhouse a little bit. So I'm actually just gonna read you a bit of what she wrote back to me as an answer because it's pretty dead-on and honestly read it for me here. so things don't bake in the mountains the same way they would at sea level as we get farther from sea level the atmospheric pressure decreases because the air is thinner it exerts less pressure on everything including water at sea level water boils at 212 Fahrenheit. We're at 5,000 feet. It boils at 203 degrees Fahrenheit and nine degree difference increases the higher you go. So that's a pretty big thing thinking about the different elevations in there and how big they can change. This means that food can bake more slowly because they're being cooked at a lower temperature leavened baked goods tend to rise more quickly, too, but then they collapse. A lower air pressure allows gases to expand faster that's creating a quicker rise, but the structure found in the air pockets is not had sufficient time to stabilize. The product is collapse. There are a lot of references that provide guidance on how to adjust the leveling the amount of liquid in the baking time and she actually included this link here this extension that Richard just put up on the under the question here is a good resource. The her class does go into detail, but there's still testing that needs to be done. You know, so that's there's never a sure fire on this which is kind of a little bit annoying but that's okay. So she tells tells us how to test a recipe too which is great and she says to test a recipe first we make it as written, but scale it down to a half or a quarter of that recipe then adjust one variable like the ingredient quality or the baking time. And in order to keep track of which change caused which effect note that the difference in microclimates in the mountains may also mean that something that worked for your friend down the road might not work for you as well. So every day, you know, you can bring different conditions and sometimes they change from morning to afternoon and afternoon to evening. Some of her General guidelines are increased Flower by two tablespoons to stabilize the structure and decrease the chance of collapse. Decrease the Sugar by one tablespoon per cup to help prevent collapse increased liquid by two to three tablespoons to compensate for increased evaporation. So that's basically what she wrote on that. I think that's pretty spot on now in particular just knowing a good amount about Cornish pastries or Cornish pastures as well. And from what friends said, you know, the water will evaporate quicker, you know at higher elevation. So one of the things I know to do is you might want to test cooking your ingredients on the inside before you're putting them into the into the pockets of the dough if you will, I know that some people actually Will keep everything kind of raw inside the Pasty before they put it into it before they actually, you know, crimp the sides and everything like that. So it's definitely I would probably recommend cooking everything before putting it in to it as well and just a little bit more water as friends that is probably a good idea because the crust can tend to dry out a little bit. There are a slew of different resources out there including the one who just linked here. And there's also a lot more on the essential vegan desserts from Fran as well her being our expert on this. She's just fantastic at that. So if you haven't taken that class, it's a wonderful one to do through Rouxbe just the the experience you get through that classes quite fantastic. So Carrie, I hope that helps when I see friend brought this into a lot more info and high altitude baking an essential vegan desserts, too. Yep. That is correct. So between that link and that class should be pretty set. But the you know, the basis is to experiment a little bit depending on where your house is again, you know, as you said it can be different at your neighbor's house because of the microclimates that happen mountains like that. So happy cooking Carrie.


Dan Marek

Dan Marek

Director of Plant-Based Culinary & Dev