Saturday, September 22, 2007


ok, y'all, i made seitan today--3 pots of it, for me and e, which will be plenty to last for a month or two (i hope! i do get a little over-zealous with seitan though).
it was ridiculously easy, so i thought i would share with you. this does not mean that i do not want to have seitan-making parties with those of you i have discussed them with! it just means i can tide myself over until they happen.
to make seitan, you need the following:

  • wheat gluten. you can buy this at natural food stores. we got it at the co-op i think.

  • lots of water

  • seasonings! i recommend some combination of the following, plus whatever else you may desire: soy sauce. boullion. vinegar (i used rice vinegar). liquid smoke. thyme. old bay. celery salt. black pepper. sesame oil. poultry seasoning. garlic/powder. onion/powder.

i used my kitchenaid, of course! into the bowl i put almost equal parts water and wheat gluten. what we have established is this: for seitan with more air bubbles, you should use more water and knead for longer. for seitan that is denser, you should put in slightly less water and knead for shorter.
first i used the batter attachment, which is this one:

after that had fully incorporated the two, i attached the bread hook:

i let that go for about five minutes. this made the seitan denser--so, as mentioned, knead for longer if you want it more airy.
the aforementioned steps can all be done by hand. but, if you do them with the mixer, then you can spend the time they are kneading making your broth.
basically, to make the broth, i fill up a pot (or three) with water, about 6" high because you want it to cover the seitan as it cooks. then, i put in enough boullion to add substantial flavor--a little more than whatever the package tells you, because this is what is going to flavor the base of your seitan. i think that a salt-free or low-salt boullion is best, because you are going to put in soy sauce/braggs also and you don't want to overwhelm the flavor. after the boullion, i put in the soy sauce, and whatever else i want. i think that liquid smoke is super important to the taste of the seitan, but remember that a little goes a long way. you do want the broth to be strong, though. honestly, it's pretty hard to fuck up.
i bring the broth to a boil, and once the seitan is done cooking i cut it up into small pieces. the smaller they are, the faster they cook, so i make them maybe about 2 cubic inches (like 1"x1"x2" or so). once the liquid is boiled, i drop the chunks in, and then i go play a game or do something else for about an hour so i don't stare at them, but i stir them every 10-15 minutes to make sure they don't burn to the bottom. if it looks like they are running out of water, pour in some more, with a little boullion if you want.
then, after about an hour, they should feel sort of like the seitan you get from the store! i like to drain them and then cut them up and put them in freezer bags (no liquid needed) so that they are ready to use whenevs.
soon, i am going to make fried seitan with biscuits and broccoli. that might be more like a 30 minute meal, but so worth it! i will post when i do.

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