"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men." Alice Walker, American author

Monday, April 9, 2012

Baked Seitan Loaf

Sorry I almost forgot about Meatless Monday - and I was out of town the past two weeks.. but better late than never - maybe you can make this tomorrow!

On Sunday, I made a seitan loaf - that's wheat-meat made from wheat gluten, broth and seasonings, rolled and baked into a loaf in the oven.
I'm sharing this because a)this is one of the best seitan loaves I've made, and b)home-made seitan is easy; and c)it's way cheaper and tastier than store-bought (although Upton's Naturals and Tofurky are pretty darned good - but pricey!
This seitan has a firm, yet tender texture; not bready-y at all!  

This is my tweak (I always tweak recipes!) of a recipe in Robin Robertson's VEGAN ON THE CHEAP - a very good cookbook btw, I use it all the time.  This loaf is perfect for dicing up for BBQ sandwiches, tacos/enchiladas, etc.  Or do what I did for lunch today and slice thin for a sandwich.  (My dog loves it too, so, yes it does taste "meat-y"!)

BAKED SEITAN LOAF (This will come out looking like a long Tofurky roast btw..)

Dry mix:
1 and 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour (I use Arrowhead Mills)
1/2 cup chickpea flour (found in most Indian/multi-ethnic groceries/markets)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional; but lends a lot to taste)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

Wet mix::
1/2 block water-packed tofu
1 and 1/4  cup veg. broth, COLD (I use the Pacific brand pre-pkgd individual cups of broth for seitan)
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Blend the tofu and other wet ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Make a well in the center of the dry mix, then our the wet mix in.  Stir until combined and mixed.  Then knead with your hands for 2-3 minutes.  Let rest for a couple of minutes, up to 5 or so.

Mix a tsp or two of olive or sesame oil and a tsp or two of tamari, a small squirt of tomato paste, and a small squirt of agave nectar or maple syrup in a bowl and whisk together.

Now, form the gluten dough into a log shape.  Brush the tomato-paste mixture on all sides.
Then wrap in aluminum foil but not too tightly.  Make sure to twist the ends so liquid does not escape in the oven.

Bake in oven at 325 F for 90 minutes.  Flip over halfway through baking time to brown on both sides.
The gluten will expand a bit when baking.

After baking, carefully unwrap from foil, and let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or using in a  recipe.  (For best results and texture, refrigerate overnight.) 

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