Musings

Hail Seitan

Ok, it’s time to have the talk. The seitan talk.

All you celiacs, you get a pass here, cause this is gonna be straight gluten.

Seitan is basically “wheat-meat.” It is made from a base of Vital Wheat Gluten, which is when they take regular wheat flour and wash all the starch out of it. Bam, pure gluten powder.

It also happens to be one of the most versatile plant-based protein sources I’ve ever worked with (correct me, if you have better, please, I’m always happy to learn something!) and is a great dupe for pretty much any meat product you’re missing.

So, let’s cut to the chase. What’s the big deal? Won’t it taste like glue, if it’s just flour?

Ok, whoa. The trick is in how you mix it.

First: You have to season it. The biggest and most important rule with seitan is to first mix your dry with dry, and your wet with wet, and then mix the two together. Otherwise, if you just mix water with Vital Wheat Gluten, yeah, it’s going to taste like bland nothing.

Second: You must knead it. The reason that we must knead bread when we make it is to develop the gluten. Gluten is the stringy wheat protein that holds the whole mess together, and it’s what gives seitan the texture of meat, that fibrous, muscly texture. So, roll up your sleeves, and knead away!

Beyond that, it’s pretty much the sky’s the limit. Trying out different methods (boiling, steaming, baking, frying) to cook it, trying different seasoning combinations, going really off the rails and trying to make dessert seitan, cause why not?

Have fun with it, and show me your creations!

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