Stephanie P Profile - (10764787)

cook's profile

Stephanie P

Stephanie P
Home Town: Puyallup, Washington, USA
Living In: Olympia, Washington, USA
Member Since: Sep. 2006
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Gourmet
Hobbies: Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Camping, Boating, Walking, Photography, Reading Books, Charity Work
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About this Cook
Well, when I was 12 I decided to become a vegetarian, so I've been cooking for myself ever since. I love to cook so much, and since people compare cooking to chemistry I got interested in chemistry. I'm now interested in teaching high school science. I decided to cut high fructose corn syrup from my diet (harder than you might think!) and so I taught myself to make my own bread. I'm also very excited to start exploring different ethnic cuisine. And I was inspired by a book to start baking miniature deserts.
My favorite things to cook
I really enjoy baking, especially breads. I love trying new foods, thought my favorite foods are adaptations of my mom's recipes I grew up eating.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Home made from scratch red spaghetti sauce simmered in a slow cooker all day long with home-made noodles. (I've added home-baked bread to this) Rum cake aged for two weeks during christmas time.
My cooking triumphs
Teaching myself how to make bread. Perfecting my navratan korma
My cooking tragedies
Promising to bake cinnamonrolls for a large group, and under-cooking the recipe!
Recipe Reviews 5 reviews
Mama D's Italian Bread
Excellent Italian style bread! A few things I did differently: I used bread flour for the four cups of flour used in the beginning to make the sponge, and AP flour for the remaining 3cups. Bread flour, because of its high protein content, results in a chewy bread without being solid or dense. It also results in a thin crispy crust. All-purpose flour gives you a thicker crust. I found this combo to produce a perfect crumb and crust. I also placed a dish of water in the oven with the bread to provide a constant source of humidity rather than misting the bread. This changes the texture of the crust and I prefer it this way. Also, for those of you who talk about using 9 cups of flour instead of 7: This will make a very yummy simple bread. BUT to get the dense, chewy texture of a true Italian style loaf, you need a MUCH stickier dough. I ended up using ~6.5 cups. You can't measure whether the kneading is done in traditional ways, it's too sticky. That's why the directions say knead until smooth. When the dough is smooth (no bumps left) and almost taffy like it's ready. If you have a mixer with a dough hook this is best. But if you don't, just take 1/3 of the recipe at a time, place in in a large bowl and use a spatula to knead the bread. Use the spatula to pull the dough from the sides of the bowl and push it into the center. This is an arm buster, to be sure. But kneading by hand with a dough this sticky is just awful (in my opinion).

21 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jul. 1, 2008
Garlic and Herb Bread
A tasty bread to go with pasta dishes. I used 1 cup of almond milk instead of water and milk powder, olive oil instead of veg oil, minced fresh garlic and 1/2 of the flour for whole wheat flour. Also, I dissolved a Vit C tab in the almond milk(Vit C helps yeast make stronger bonds and make a better, softer dough. I always use it in my breads). I made the bread by hand which required some extra flour for kneading, and baked it in a loaf pan at 400 deg F until internal temp at 200 deg F. Will add more garlic next time since I am a bit of a garlic fiend.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 17, 2006
French Herb Bread
A nice bread recipe. I used powdered onion instead of fresh and didn't have any problems with the bread unrolling. Also, I subbed half the flour with whole wheat and used olive oil instead of butter. Still, a nice bread for company.

1 user found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Sep. 17, 2006

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