Growing up in Minnesota, a “high altitude” thrill was taking the J Bar to the top of Afton Alps, a whopping 300 vertical feet and, shushing down the man-made snow. Moving to Park City definitely redefined altitude for the whole family. Not only did we have to readjust our expectations of fresh powder, we had to readjust our baking habits.
My dad, a longtime season ticket holder to the Vikings now channels his energy when the purple and gold are on TV into baking chocolate chip cookies. I could count on a bag of his cookies arriving to my dorm room in college about two days after a game. Good thing is, whether they won or lost, the cookies always tasted the same.
Deer Valley Executive Pastry Chef Stephen Harty takes high altitude baking to a science. Albeit my dad’s cookies are pretty darn good, Harty is the master when it comes to the perfect cookie or cake baked at over 7,200 feet. Here is an excerpt from the current issue of Dishing PC, A Lesson In High Altitude Baking with Deer Valley. Enjoy!
Baking is often referred to as “like a science.” So, it is a good thing that Deer Valley Resort‘s Executive Pastry Chef Stephen Harty, has a degree in the field. “The Science of baking really attracted me,” he said of the transition from his studies in science to cooking. “Plus, I’m a chocoholic”.
With restaurants starting at 7,200 feet (above sea level) and reaching as high as 8,500, Harty deals with a variety of elements that affect baking. Each lodge, he says, has it’s own recipes for the goods baked at each spot. “we use the word ‘altitude’ as a verb, he says, “You have to ‘altitude’ a recipe.”
When you are baking over 100,000 cookies a year, you’ve got to get it right. So, we asked Harty to explain the science behind what happens and offer his general rules and steps to baking perfectly above sea level.
For baking tips at both high altitude and sea level and Deer Valley’s chocolate chip cookie and devil’s food cake recipes, click HERE or pick up the current issue of Dishing PC today.