Friday, April 07, 2006

I made Seitan from scratch last night. It was SUPER easy and tastes better than the stuff I get in stores.

Garden of Vegan (er, I think...) had a basic recipe.
La Dolce Vegan had an "instant" recipe.

Whole Foods only had basic gluten flour(also called vital gluten flour), but not instant.

I compared a couple of basic recipes online and did a sort of "mix." Some basic recipes were too basic - just flour and water. Others were too complicated - Juliano style - 30 ingredients long. The optional items are things I tossed in to the most basic recipe to make it more flavorful and more nutritious.

One cup of gluten flour makes almost three cups of Seitan. Not a single one of these recipes mentioned that the stuff expands almost three times its size!!

Seitan is high in protein, which makes it very satisfying as a meal. It's also very low in calories! Like tofu, it absorbs what ever flavors you cook it in. I love to make "bowl" food. Just one bowl of dinner. One pan, veggies and seitan. One bowl. Yum Yum!!

A cup of gluten flour
2-3 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast (optional)
Some hot water.
Some Tamari or soy sauce (optional)

You can add poultry seasoning and make "chicken." Or vegan worchestershire and make "steak."

Put a very large pot of water on the boil, add some soy sauce. The gluten will absorb the soy sauce. If you want more flavor use veggie broth instead of water. Or a combination of water and broth. I added dulce for extra nutrition.

Sift the two powders together, then add the tamari. Add the water a little at a time, kneading with your hands. It's not sticky. The gluten holds together very nicely.

If your flour is fresh, you'll get one big blob of wheat meat. If it's not fresh, little bits will come off. You can still cook it! Don't throw it out!!

Take that big ball of gluten and pour COLD water over it. Knead it under the water. A bunch of stuff will squish out. Pour that out. Add more cold water and knead. Keep this up for 5 or 10 minutes. If you don't rinse and knead enough, it will come out spongey. The more you rinse and knead - which takes out the starch and fiber - the more "meaty" it gets.

Some recipes said to set it aside for half an hour. Others did not. Your choice...

Then roll it out, or just squash it. I had fun playing with the stuff. Take a knife and cut it. It gets very "rubbery." So flattening it can be a challenge. I cut it in bits about the size I normally eat - not knowing each bit would get HUGE! So while it was boiling I took bits out and cut them in quarters. You can boil it in large flat pieces and make "steak." Just remember that it will expand!

Toss all your bits in the boiling water. An hour to an hour and a half. The longer it cooks - the firmer it gets.

Store it in the fridge, in the broth you cooked it in.

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