Since I gobbled up the first seitan roundup so quickly, I thought today'd be a good day for another. Joanna has been buzzing about Ann Gentry's Real Food Daily Mac n' Cheeze, so I thought I'd join in by trying her "Basic Seitan." I've made her chicken-style version before, which is made with blended white beans, (and which was much too pasty for my palette-even though Michelle loves it with her whole heart), but this was my first go at the plain version. This recipe is much more to my liking than Roundup I, it made a highly seasoned and tasty dough with nutritional yeast, ground coriander, sage, powdered ginger and salt, but it also had me worried. Fret #1, the dough was incredibly wet, the recipe said it would be, but still--wet gluten usually means brainy seitan. Fret #2, second to the main ingredient vital wheat gluten, the largest ingredient is whole wheat pastry flour. Both of these worries had me thinking I'd be stuck with four pounds of mushy results (at least you can grind up rubbery seitan and make it yummy).
The dough in this recipe is not simmered in broth, instead it's kneaded with seasoning and is then baked in a water bath for two hours, (the seitan goes in one pan, and then is placed in a larger pan with water poured in around it). Seitan firms up after it has been chilled, so I brought the baked seitan to room temp and then stuffed it in the fridge to do it's firming thing. After chilling and upon slicing, my decree is it has a wonderful and really delicious savory flavor, BUT the texture is not for me. This recipe produced a really pasty seitan. It's not brainy or even bready, it's p.a.s.t.y. So weird, but I haven't given up on it yet. I think I'll try to stuff these and bread them like my crispy, crunchy tofu pockets.