making homemade seitan or other "meaty" concoctions - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-06-2010, 09:02 AM
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how much trouble is it to make homemade seitan? unfortunately, i'm still working 70ish to 90ish hours a week, so my diet tends to collapse into heavy reliance on eggs and cheeses and prepared foods like microwave macaroni and cheese (not to mention taco bell bean burritos). i realize this is all wrecking my health, especially when you consider that i'm working night hours. basically, i'm looking to experiment and rebalance my diet towards more vegan and less egg/dairy.

while i'm systematically working my way through the entire selection of vegetarian meat substitutes that publix carries, i'd like to learn to make a good "meaty" substitute from scratch. and i'm open for suggestions.
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#2 Old 09-06-2010, 09:19 AM
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I recently made homemade seitan for the first time, and I was so surprised by how easy it was to make! I used a recipe from Veganomicon (Simple Seitan), which is very similar to this recipe I think: ppk Homemade Seitan. I used my bread machine for the kneading, on the dough cycle (rather than kneading by hand) and let it go through 2 kneading steps with a rest in between, and then simmered according to the rest of the ppk instructions.

The outside ended up slightly spongy, and I've heard boiling can do that, so I wonder if bringing the seitan to a boil is necessary at all. Anyway, it was just a tiny bit on the outside and once I sliced and cooked it in my stir fry, it wasn't noticeable at all.

Of course, that's my experience only having made it once, but I can't wait to try it again. Hopefully others will weigh in with their seitan making expertise!
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#3 Old 09-06-2010, 11:20 PM
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Seitan using vital wheat gluten and simmered in a crockpot only takes 5 or 10 minutes of active time, 6-8 hours of cooking but you can just start it and wander off while it slow cooks.

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I used my bread machine for the kneading, on the dough cycle (rather than kneading by hand) and let it go through 2 kneading steps with a rest in between,

Could very well be why it got spongy. If the gluten is overworked it comes out rubbery. You only really need (play on words!) to squish it around for a few minutes. If even, many recipes say under a minute.

Yeah, boiling will make it come out rubbery too. Don't let it boil!

I'm just beginning to experiment with steaming rather than boiling ... (Using the method for sausages from Vegan Brunch, originally worked out by Julie Hasson)

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#4 Old 09-07-2010, 11:31 PM
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This is a good primer on seitan and the recipe I use:
http://megatarian.blogspot.com/2008/...an-how-to.html

It's not hard to make, takes an hour to simmer, but you can make a bunch at once so it's totally worth it. Keep some in the fridge and freeze the rest. No sweat. I even like to eat it cold right out of the fridge sometimes.

Oh, and I knead by hand. No use in dirtying a machine for something so easy to do by hand.
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#5 Old 09-08-2010, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in MPLS View Post

Seitan using vital wheat gluten and simmered in a crockpot only takes 5 or 10 minutes of active time, 6-8 hours of cooking but you can just start it and wander off while it slow cooks.

Could very well be why it got spongy. If the gluten is overworked it comes out rubbery. You only really need (play on words!) to squish it around for a few minutes. If even, many recipes say under a minute.

Yeah, boiling will make it come out rubbery too. Don't let it boil!

I see what you mean, but I don't think it was the kneading in the bread machine that made it spongy. It was only spongy a tiny bit on the outside - the inside was perfectly "meaty." I got the bread machine idea from a Bryanna Clark Grogan recipe (although I can't find the link at the moment). I think the instructions in the Veganomicon recipe to "bring it to a boil, then simmer" are off since I did watch it carefully and turned it down as soon as it started to boil - probably better to just simmer rather than bring to a full boil. I'll probably try the slow cooker next time, since it's easier than babysitting a pot.
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#6 Old 09-12-2010, 08:34 PM
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Just reporting back with the results from my 2nd batch of seitan. I did the kneading in the bread machine again, and tried out the slow cooker method. It turned out perfectly. No weird sponginess on the outside at all. It is just nice and meaty all the way through.
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#7 Old 09-13-2010, 05:20 PM
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For me the best thing about the slow cooker is I didn't have to pay attention to it while it simmered. I'm really bad at getting distracted and forgetting to check on things.

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#8 Old 09-13-2010, 05:36 PM
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This is my recipe for a vegan seitan gyros. It's unbelievably delicious and easy to make. Just add the wet and dry together and knead it in a bowl for a couple of minutes till there are no more dry bits. Form it into a log wrapped in foil and bake for an hour.

Vegan Gyros

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#9 Old 09-14-2010, 11:15 PM
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Used a bread machine to make seitan tonight. Put the ingredients in, scraped down the sides during the second knead, let it cook and presto! seitan. Used the 'basic medium crust' cycle. The bottom burned a little bit but otherwise it was OK - flavorful and moist. Definately need to tweak the process, but even still it turned out better than my last simmered batch. The recipe I used is modified from this one: http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbreci...p?RecipeID=112. Changes I made: Replace water & soy sauce with 1 1/2 cups water + 1/2 T Better Than Boullion No Chicken Base, replace garlic with 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning, eliminate tomato paste and lemon zest

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#10 Old 09-15-2010, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in MPLS View Post

Used a bread machine to make seitan tonight. Put the ingredients in, scraped down the sides during the second knead, let it cook and presto! seitan. Used the 'basic medium crust' cycle. The bottom burned a little bit but otherwise it was OK - flavorful and moist. Definately need to tweak the process, but even still it turned out better than my last simmered batch. The recipe I used is modified from this one: http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbreci...p?RecipeID=112. Changes I made: Replace water & soy sauce with 1 1/2 cups water + 1/2 T Better Than Boullion No Chicken Base, replace garlic with 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning, eliminate tomato paste and lemon zest

Wow this is awesome news! I never even thought about making it in a bread machine!!! I'm way too excited about this. lol

Sarah
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#11 Old 09-15-2010, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in MPLS View Post

Used a bread machine to make seitan tonight. Put the ingredients in, scraped down the sides during the second knead, let it cook and presto! seitan. Used the 'basic medium crust' cycle. The bottom burned a little bit but otherwise it was OK - flavorful and moist. Definately need to tweak the process, but even still it turned out better than my last simmered batch. The recipe I used is modified from this one: http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbreci...p?RecipeID=112. Changes I made: Replace water & soy sauce with 1 1/2 cups water + 1/2 T Better Than Boullion No Chicken Base, replace garlic with 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning, eliminate tomato paste and lemon zest

This is just wild. Making *and* cooking seitan in the bread machine? I love it. I also like your changes to the seasonings - my "chicken" flavored seitan came out tasting mostly like soy sauce, so maybe I'll try replacing that next time too.
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#12 Old 09-17-2010, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papayamon View Post

how much trouble is it to make homemade seitan? unfortunately, i'm still working 70ish to 90ish hours a week, so my diet tends to collapse into heavy reliance on eggs and cheeses and prepared foods like microwave macaroni and cheese (not to mention taco bell bean burritos). i realize this is all wrecking my health, especially when you consider that i'm working night hours. basically, i'm looking to experiment and rebalance my diet towards more vegan and less egg/dairy.

while i'm systematically working my way through the entire selection of vegetarian meat substitutes that publix carries, i'd like to learn to make a good "meaty" substitute from scratch. and i'm open for suggestions.

I enjoy seitan and my favorite recipe is the one from Nava Atlas' Vegetarian Family Cookbook. You can find the recipe here: http://vegkitchen.com/recipes/seitan.htm. It makes quite a bit. I freeze in meal size portions and that works well.
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#13 Old 09-17-2010, 09:43 PM
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Baking powder? How's the texture? (Seems like it'd get 'poofy' to me)

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