Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Praise Seitan!

All hail the holy wheat meat! I love chewy, meaty chunks of homemade seitan. I usually use the old-fashioned wheat flour and water, knead for a million hours method. But I finally decided to check out vital gluten flour. I figure if I'm writing a cookbook, I should make things a little easier on people.

I made Seitan "Beef" using a secret recipe broth (to be printed in my cookbook), and then I veganized a recipe for Beef Tips and Rice from one of my mom's Southern cookbooks.

It's beef-flavored seitan, red bell pepper, mushrooms, cooking sherry, and brown rice. Super good. The sherry really brought out an amazing flavor. I'll be including this dish in the cookbook as well.

I really enjoyed the texture of the vital gluten seitan. And it was so easy to make — only 5 minutes of kneading and none of that running water until all the starch is out stuff that you get with whole wheat flour seitan. Although, I gotta say I think I'm partial to the texture of the whole wheat flour version. It's a little more tender. Either way though, seitan is god!

How to make seitan:

The Easy Way:

1 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
1 cup water

Mix wheat gluten and water in a large bowl until it becomes doughy. Knead for about five minutes and allow to rest for five more minutes.

Tear seitan into small chunks and simmer in a broth (see other recipes in this section for ideas) for one hour or until absorbed.

Note: Seitan expands as it cooks, so start with very small chunks if you desire medium-sized pieces. Or if you’d rather have seitan cutlets, use medium-sized chunks.

The Cheaper, Time-Consuming Method:

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cup water

Mix flours and water well and knead for about one minute. Then cover with a cloth and let it sit in a warm place for 30 minutes. 

Next, put the dough in a bowl and cover with warm water. Knead it under water. The water will turn white and milky. Pour it out, and run more water. Then repeat. Do this until the water becomes clear.

You'll have to run about 10 to 15 bowls of warm water, and in the middle of doing all this, your dough ball will look like it's falling apart. Never fear. Just try and hold it together. Eventually, it will become cohesive again and kind of stretchy. It might look a little like brains. The water will become less and less milky with every bowl.

Once you have the water starts to get pretty clear, run a bowl of cold water and another time. Pour that out and run warm water. Knead a final time, and dump all the water out.

Tear seitan into small chunks and simmer in a broth (see other recipes in this section for ideas) for one hour or until absorbed.

1 comment:

redvelvetfemme said...

um, i love your blog in the worst way. i'm a southern girl, born and bred, with vegan tendencies. (and my baby pit bull girl's name is bianca)....so i think i was destined to love your blog. xox