Friday, March 1, 2013

Experiments in Seitan

Like so many things, this post started out as an experiment that did not go according to plan. I was wanting to make Terry Hope Romero's red seitan, but since I didn't have all the ingredients on hand, I needed to make some substitutions. I decided to use some of the quick Really Excellent Marinade to replace the tomato paste Romero's recipe called for.  It produced a very wet dough. 

I am not a very confident seitan maker, and I always wonder just what the consistency of the dough should be, how long it should be kneaded, and the size of the loaves for steaming.  I thought this was a good opportunity to test this out.

I divided the dough in two, I left the wet dough to rest, and with the second half, I added more Vital Wheat Gluten to make the dough the usual consistency I get from following a seitan recipe.  This thick dough was inevitably kneaded more than the wet dough and had that elastic feeling you look for when making bread.

Since I had a bit extra VWG left, I added some chick pea flour, and some water to make a dry, very well kneaded dough.

I then packed them in foil and steamed them according to THR's description.

After steaming, you couldn't really tell a difference between the wet dough and the medium dough. I kept one loaf of each to bake, and there was very little difference between the wet and the medium when they were baked.

The next day, I took one loaf wet and one loaf medium and sliced them to put in a marinade.  The medium loaf was a bit chewier, but only a little.

The big surprise was that on slicing the dry little dough ball, it had these nice little holes in it!  That means it is less dense than your average seitan and would probably soak up flavors more. 

I marinated it in some soy sauce, picka peppa sauce and sesame oil and sauteed it for a sort of reuben sandwich.  So good!

The steamed seitan is just the basis for later cooking. Try it in some Winter Hakka Noodles! But here is the result of my experimenting, a very good basic recipe for seitan.

Steamed Seitan
Adapted from Terry Hope Romero's recipe for Red Seitan
Makes 4 loaves of seitan
Takes 1 hour

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 giant clove of garlic grated (about 1 tablespoon grated garlic, maybe more)
3 Tablespoons light soy sauce
2 Tbsp Really Excellent Marinade
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup chick pea flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried oregano

Mix together garlic and wet ingredients in a large liquid cup measure. 

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine dry ingredients.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until it begins to leave the sides of the bowl.  It will be very wet. In the bowl, knead for 3 minutes. This will be difficult as the dough will be very loose. Persevere!  Let rest for 10 minutes.  Knead again for 1 minute. Divide into 4 pieces, kneading each into a loaf shape.

Prepare a steamer and basket. I use a large stock pot with a wire cooling rack. Bring water to a boil and then turn down to a steady simmer.

Wrap each loaf into a loose foil packet, allowing room for the seitan to expand. Steam seitan for thirty minutes. Can be used right away, but it's better over time. Let cool and refrigerate. Will keep for 1 week.

Stay tuned for recipes on what to do with your seitan!

1 comment:

  1. Very impressive Radhika! I am glad your experiment turned well. I've never thought to make seitan before, but this sounds pretty fun and not too hard.