For a looooong time now I’ve wanted to go bonkers in the kitchen on a weekend afternoon and make an obscene amount of seitan. And since I’ve found out what the differences are between vital wheat gluten and gluten flour (thank you, Bryanna!), I’ll never again waste another batch of seitan. You see, for a few years now I’d not been aware that vital wheat gluten is a much different monster than gluten flour. I’ve tried several different boiled seitan recipes and despite sticking to the recipes’ directions (a hard thing for me to do) I’d always be left with either a pot of dissolved seitan or seitan so spongy and falling apart it wasn’t even fit to cook or eat with. Now I know why. Yeesh!
And so, with my man being a bacon aficionado (vegan bacon, that is), I thought it was about time I tried out the seitan bacon recipe posted by the PDX Vegan Cooking Club. The look is bang on, though for me the recipe needs a bit of fiddling with. The entire recipe was a tad too wet to be kneaded without it falling apart, so I added more vital wheat gluten and chickpea flour to both the red and the white gluten mixtures. And I used liquid hickory smoke in lieu of the smoked paprika, though I still included the full amount of paprika. The bacon also could use a bit more flavour, so I’ll increase the amounts of seasonings next time. Don’t skimp on the maple syrup if you can – I used agave and though this worked fine I think the maple syrup could have made the bacon taste even more bacon-y. Lastly, this recipe is surprisingly easy to make – most of the work is in waiting for it to cook in the oven. I’ll definitely be making this more often and stashing a bit of it in the freezer since the amount it makes is perfect for two people. The lovely smell coming from the oven is good enough reason alone to make a batch of seitan bacon.
I also decided that the making of sandwich slices was in order since all of the Field Roast slices we bought from Karmavore in August are gone and, well, just because I want the satisfaction of knowing I can make this stuff any time I like and make it any flavour I like too. And so, I must thank the Vegan Dad for his kitchen wizardry with seitan. His recipe for Hickory Smoked Veggie Turkey Lunchmeat is sublime, and the wet mixture for the recipe smells amazing even before it’s made into seitan. I dare say this seitan even whiffs of Field Roast a little bit. Now, despite the awesomeness of this recipe, I found the cooked result surprisingly bland. I would definitely double the seasonings the next time I make it, as well as add two to three times the amount of hickory smoke since I couldn’t even smell or taste it in the baked roll. But the texture and lovely crust on the outside of the seitan are perfect. And it makes a massive bunch of the stuff, though it seems to deflate quite a bit after coming out of the oven. Make sure you wrap it really well and use heavy-duty foil if you can.
And then I just had to make seitan sausages since there just happened to be a stray can of pinto beans sitting in the cupboard. Again, thanks to the Vegan Dad – I made his homemade sausages, but instead of the fennel and chili flakes, I put in 3/4 cup of minced sundried tomatoes, two tbsp tomato paste, and two tsp of onion granules. I’m not such a big fan of Italian sausage-style vegan sausages that have sage and fennel in them, so with this recipe I thought it would be more fun trying to experiment with different sausage flavours. His recipe is s tiny bit similar to Julie Hasson’s sausage recipe, at least in that they’re steamed and they use some of the same seasonings. These sausages were the best out of the bunch of seitan that I made. Even without the usual seasonings, they were quite sausage-y and very moist with an excellent tender texture.
I ran out of vital wheat gluten after all of this, but I also mean to make up my own seitan bacon bits recipe, and well as try a seitanized version Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk’s tempeh wingz one more time. I also want to make some pepperoni and other odds and sods. And though it is not of the seitan variety, I also am going to be making The Urban Housewife’s jackfruit tacos, as well as trying to create a veganized version of pulled pork with jackfruit.
For din-din, we’ll likely be feasting on pretty much everything I’ve made here. Praise seitan! Yay!