Monday, November 5, 2007

Seitan Roundup I

I decided to start this crazy seitan business with the Basic Seitan Dough from The Bold Vegetarian Chef by Ken Charney. This book offers a basic dough recipe, with choices for two different boiling liquids, one produces a "light meat" seitan and the other a "dark meat."

The book also offers a "free range" seitan recipe, which sorta freaks me out, but I guess the titles of the recipes aren't up for scrutiny now, just the results. I decided to go with the "light meat" recipe, since it looked simpler, I liked the spice combination called for, and I had everything at hand: garlic, nutritional yeast, onion powder, wine, fennel, mustard powder, celery seed and red chilies. The recipe was very easy to follow, but took a bit to prepare as there was a long list of ingredients. It also followed the "bland dough, but strongly seasoned boiling water" school of thought, which isn't my favorite. While the raw dough tasted nice*, it had a really good balance of sweet and salt, the seasoned liquid was unable to penetrate into the seitan to substantially flavor it. However, if you want a really firm textured seitan, this will give it to ya', though it's a bit squeaky and rubbery. Using cheesecloth to contain and firm the seitan worked incredibly well, even after simmering for two hours, it completely prevented the gluten from getting "brainy" or soggy. Since the results were really firm, but extrememly bland, I'll probably end up grinding it up in my food processor to use for Jamaican patties--I can easily season it up that way.

Here's the finished product, pre grinding.

*I like to chew on raw gluten, it's like gum--you're spit enzymes won't be able to break it down for hours and hours. I've even blown bubbles with some.



  1. Again, I thank you for doing this seitan experiment thing. (Take THAT, deer tow guy) I definitely want to try the cheesecloth technique. Firm seitan is where it's at.

  2. "*I like to chew on raw gluten, it's like gum"

    Kittee, your my hero.

  3. Very KEWL! A blog I haven't run across. And what a nice one it is! Thank you so much for posting in mine!

    My sourdough crust recipe is nothing original, but the best one I've found so far...

    Hope that works for ya!

    I wish I had the cookbooks you're mentioning when making the seitan. I have several recipes, but none yet that are "the perfect one", so I'm anxious to see how this "experiment" goes...

    I'll DEFINITELY be back. You have a GREAT blog.

  4. umm..i'm chewing on raw gluten the next time i make it.

  5. You are too cool Kittee!

    I'm so glad you're doing this gluten-off. I have the Bold Vegetarian book, and was always curious about his seitan recipes. Thanks for testing them out for us. So far my favorite seitan recipes are Bryanna's cutlets, her pork-style roast and Susan's Ribz. I can't wait to see what your favorites are.

    Thankfully your tests are very scientific and official Kittee!

  6. okay. whip out your real food daily book again and check out the "chicken style seitan." holy fake chicken shit. this will knock your #$%* in the dirt. (email me for expletives.)
    i am NOT kidding about this. seriously GOOD seitan!

  7. i can't decide if i'm grossed out by you blowing bubbles with seitan!

    my favorite is joanna's seitan from her cookbook. it's the only recipe that works for me consistently.

  8. Joanna's is good, and easy, I also like the one from the native foods restaraunt cookbook.

    I am totally going to try to blow bubbles with my raw dough next time!

  9. I like the cheeese cloth method a lot. Millenium has a great seitan sausage recipe in their cookbook that you boil with cheese cloth.

    I'm also a fan of the seitan from Bold Vegetarian. ---Try his seitan bourguignonne, it rocks.

  10. how how how are you so COOL?

    really, this is a compliment!

  11. You seitan looks so firm! Love it! I love how it also browned on the outside!
    Chewing on raw seitan!! Haha I have to try the bubbles.:)

  12. I have a friend that prepare cheese but I've never seen something similar to this seitan roundup. It looks amazing.


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