Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Seitan 101

I taught a class about seitan through NW Veg and their Veg 101 series. A class about seitan is great to teach since there is so much more involved than just a recipe. Seitan has a certain texture you are looking for, so seeing it first-hand can make a difference.

Gluten is the protein found in some grains, especially wheat. Vital Wheat Gluten is a flour made from a concentration of the protein in wheat and contains 75-85% protein. Do not get this mixed up with high gluten flour which is used for baking.

There are many different types of recipes you can make using gluten. Seitan is basically a gluten dough which is cooked through a boiling process, while gluten is when you bake the dough. For this class, I sampled and shared recipes for basic seitan, thanksgiving gluten roast (including a buckwheat stuffing) and restuarant veggie burgers; recipes below. You can also make BBQ gluten strips which are always popular at potlucks.

Basic Seitan

2 ¼ cups Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 cups Hot Water
2 Tb Tamari

8 cups Water
3 Tb Tamari
2 Tb Molasses

In a medium bowl, blend together the gluten flour and seasonings. Add the hot water and tamari and blend with a sturdy spoon until combined. Knead the dough for about a minute, making sure all the flour is absorbed, but there no excess of water in the dough. Cut the dough into two-inch pieces.

Combine the ingredients for the broth and bring to a boil. Add the cut pieces of gluten to the broth, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 1 hour. The gluten will float to the top, so stirring the gluten often will allow the pieces to cook evenly. Drain the liquid and use for stews, stir fry, sandwiches and so much more.

Restaurant Veggie Burger

1 ½ cups TSP (Textured Soy Protein)
6 oz Tomato Paste
1 ½ cups Hot Water
2 Tb Braggs
1/3 cup Olive Oil
½ tsp Liquid Smoke (optional)
¾ cup Gluten Flour
1 cup Quick Oats
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tb Onion Flakes
2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
1 tsp Garlic Granules

Combine the hot water and tomato paste. Pour into the TSP and mix; let stand 5 minutes. Add braggs, oil and liquid smoke to the TSP mixture. *TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) can replace TSP in any recipe.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix until all is combined. Form into patties and place on a greased baking sheet.

Bakes at 350°F for 20 minutes, flipping burger after 10 minutes. Makes 8 burgers.

Thanksgiving Gluten Roast

2 cups Vital Wheat Gluten
1 ½ tsp Marjoram
1 ½ tsp Onion Powder
1 ½ tsp Sage
1 ½ cups Water, warm
2 Tb Tamari
2 Tb Oil

Tahini Mixture:
1/2 cup Onion, chopped
1 tsp Paprika
2 Tb Oil
½ cup Tahini
¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
2 tsp Salt

Basting Liquid:
2 Tb Sesame oil (toasted)
1 Tb Tamari

Gluten: Mix together all wet ingredients in one bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring quickly. This will form a sponge-like dough. Squeeze out any excess liquid.

Tahini paste: Fry onion in oil until soft and golden. In a small bowl, combine the cooked onion and the paprika, tahini, nutritional yeast and salt.

In food processor, process ¼ of gluten dough and ¼ of tahini mixture. Set in bowl and do the same with the rest of the gluten dough and tahini mixture. Place dough in a greased bread pan if baking alone. If forming dough over stuffing, or to bake with vegetables, place is a 9-inch square baking pan. Pour basting liquid over the roast and bake at 375°F for 1 hour.

Buckwheat Stuffing

I was preparing for a cooking class all about seitan and gluten making when I decided I wanted to make stuffing for the Thanksgiving Gluten Roast. The roast dough is wrapped around the stuffing and it works wonderfully for a Thanksgiving dinner. I didn’t have any breadcrumbs though, so I looked around my pantry. I recently discovered Buckwheat Groats even though I knew of them for many years. Buckwheat is almost circular in shape, has a mild flavor, cooks up in a jiffy and is a super nutritious whole grain. The class participants demanded I include the recipe on my blog so here you go!

Basic Buckwheat Stuffing

1 cup Buckwheat Groats, dry
2 cups Vegetable Broth
2 Tb Earth Balance Margarine
3 stalks Celery, chopped
½ cup Onion, chopped
1 tsp Sage, rubbed
1 tsp Parsley
¼ tsp Black Pepper

Cook the buckwheat in the broth until absorbed, about 15 minutes. In a frying pan, melt the margarine and add the celery and onion and cook until soft. Add the cooked buckwheat groats to the celery/onion sauté and add the sage, parsley and pepper, stirring to combine. Serve by itself as a side, or in the recipe for the Thanksgiving Gluten Roast.

The seitan and gluten recipes will be posted next!