High Altitudes and Your Bread Machine

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Bread Baking at High Altitudes

My current home in the US lies at sea level. However, I love travelling to the mountains and hike! After hiking, there’s nothing better than some fresh made bread. There are some things that are totally different while using your bread machine at high-altitude.

Luckily, we understood these challenges and we are here to explain you the challenges of high-altitude baking as well.

Why Does Higher Altitude Affect Baking?

At a high-altitude, usually 3000 feet or higher above sea level, you need to think about adjusting your bread recipes. Because of the higher air pressure, your dough will rise faster.

It also means that moisture evaporates more quickly. When you don’t take high-altitude into consideration, your loaves of bread might be dry or misshapen

Advice to adjust bread machines for high-altitudes

People need to make certain changes in measurements and temperatures if they want to make sure that their bread machine recipes turn out properly at high altitude. But how do you get started with this? And how do you know what adjustments to take.

It’s hard to say what needs adjusting. Just like when baking bread at normal altitude levels, change one small change and document it. View the results and make more adjustments as needed.

Some adjustments you can do at high-altitudes:• Decrease yeast by 1/4 teaspoon at a time• Lower the proving temperature (only possible for certain bread machines)• Decrease sweetener by 1/2 teaspoon• Increase liquid by 1 to 2 Tablespoons• Increase the level of salt (a little bit)

What some of our readers think

Some of our readers recommended us to lower the proving temperature of the bread maker. Unfortunately, not all bread makers have this function. Lowering the temperature will allow for a slower proving. This can have as a result that your bread has a better structure. Also, the higher you live, the more adjustments that might be required.

Please leave a comment below this article if you need help to adjust your bread machine. We might be able to give you suggestions regarding the brand that you are using.

Best Bread Maker for High-Altitudes

Bread machines are usually designed to be used at sea level. They have fixed settings and the lengths of cycle can only be modified if you have a more advanced custom programmable machine. But here are some of the high altitude bread machines that we recommend.

If you live above 3000 feet, we would recommend one of these custom programmable bread makers. To get the best results using a bread machine at high altitudes, choose a programmable model like the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 so you will be able to make adjustments to the individual cycle times.

Read the Reviews of the Zojirushi BB-PAC20 here

Unfortunately, there aren’t any bread makers on the market that are specifically designed for higher altitudes. Not even existing bread makers that have a ‘’high-altitude mode’’. This really surprised us. The only solution for now is to adjust your ingredients a bit. You can also make it easier for yourself and choose a machine that will give you flexibility on the cycle times.


High altitude bread machine baking can seem intimidating to new bakers, but the process is actually not difficult. High altitude bread machine baking is no different than many other types of high altitude baking. With a few simple tricks, your baked goods will be as good or better than their counterparts at sea level.

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Macy Wilson is a published author and bread baking expert. She is also known as the bread lady, and writes quality content for Make The Bread. When she's not writing, you will find her in the kitchen or playing with her cat.