Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Seitan Recipe

I posted this elsewhere a while ago, but when it was difficult to find again today, I thought heck, I'll repost it here. Plus I'm making it right now, first time in the new kitchen. Eventually (soon, I hope, cause I'm hungry) it will become salad rolls.

This entire recipe is easy to change around, but here’s a starting point:
-4 cups UNBLEACHED (or whole wheat) flour (use more on your second or third try if you want, but probably not more than 6 cups)
-enough water to make your pile of flour (which didn’t need to be accurately measured at all) into a solid ball of flour dough. The ball is very important, so make sure it’s all stuck together and not too wet or dry at this stage.
-Once you’ve got a ball, fill a mixing bowl with water and begin to gently knead the ball under it, keeping it together as best you can. It does get a little too soggy sometimes and tries to come apart, but if you just keep going patiently and keep the bits together you’ll be fine. The water should be changed fairly frequently, once it becomes opaquely white. The white is the starch coming off of the gluten, which is what we want. Gluten=protein=yay.
-So you knead for about 45 min until your ball becomes a bit more solid and rubbery. The water should be a bit less opaque when you refill it now. Ideally you might want it to be clear, or quite close to that. Definitely don’t stop until it’s close or you’ll get sponge instead of seitan. I like to put a cutting board in the bottom of the sink and knead under a light flow of water for a while, sometimes picking up the ball and rubbing it or spreading it under the water to get those pesky lumps and starch out.
-Now that you have a squeaky lump of what looks like beige brains...
-Get a large frying pan with a lid, about 2” deep. Make up your simmering sauce to cook the seitan in. I think it can also be baked and other things, but I like doing this for some all-purpose seitan. Using a 2 cup measure, mix about 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/8 cup olive oil, 3 tbl (ish, really, I just dump some on) sage, some thyme, maybe a couple drops garlic oil, salt, pepper... sautee some onions first and use those, too. Again, this is pretty arbitrary and variable, so maybe start with something simple (soysauce/oliveoil/sage) and then experiment later. Pour this into the pan and fill up with some water, about an inch deep. Bring to boil.
-Cut your lump of “brains” into half inch strips. Squeeze each of these carefully over the sink to get out the last bits of water, and lay them into the hot simmering sauce (turn down to simmer now). Put on the lid and let them sit for about 10 minutes.
-At this point the seitan lumps should have puffed up and look like poofy beige blobs. They can be coloured with this sauce, too, so more soy sauce makes darker seitan, etc. After 20 mins turn the blobs over, simmer another 20. Remove from heat and lay your blobs on a cutting board to cool. The sauce can be saved for another (slightly weaker) batch later.
-The seitan can be cut up again from here and used in stir fry, spring rolls, on salads, in tomato sauce.. whatever you like. I think it lasts about a week, but it’s usually gone so fast I haven’t tested that.

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