The Science of Baking

Baking utilizes carefully balanced formulas. What goes into a flour based baked good either strengthens/toughens (proteins and starches), weakens/tenderizes (fats and sugars), moistens (any water containing ingredient), dries, or leavens it, but not by themselves. Without heat and water, the important chemical and physical reactions wouldn’t take place. Hence the boom the cavemen experienced after the invention of fire.

Strengthens or Toughens
Weakens or Tenderizes
Butter   X      
Shortening   X      
Cocoa butter   X      
Cocoa powder       X  
Flour X     X  
Starches (potato, corn, tapioca, etc.)       X  
Eggs X X X   X
Sugar   X X    
Oil   X X    
Syrups (maple, corn, molasses, honey, etc.)   X X    
Dairy (liquid milks, creams, yogurts)     X    
Dry milks       X  
Baking soda         X
Baking powder         X
Yeast         X
Air         X
Water     X   X

At all altitudes, the functions of the various ingredients stay the same. It’s the air pressure, or lack thereof really, that is the force behind all problems related to high altitude baking. Understanding what goes on with the air pressure will take all the mystery out of high altitude baking.

First though, let’s take a look at how each of the major players affect baked goods:



“My mom made the cake with the changes from the Elevated Kitchen and it turned out wonderfully!! She is very happy with it and it tastes just as moist as it should. Thank you again for your help!”


“I made my Triple Chocolate cookies with changes from the Elevated Kitchen and they were so soft and fluffy. Best batch I’ve ever made! You rock Elevated Kitchen”

- SReardon