What is Seitan?
What exactly is seitan and how is it made? What does it taste like and how is it prepared?
DID YOU KNOW…
• FOR EASIER CLEANUP
Cold water + dough scraper = easier cleanup than starting with warm water and won’t ruin your sponge. Use a brush instead of a sponge for even better results.
• TO HELP WITH THAT “GLUTENY” TASTE
Adding about 1/8-1/4t of baking soda OR about 2T apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your mix (when working with a recipe that will yield about 6 servings) has been known to reduce the “gluteny” taste. Just DON’T ADD THEM BOTH! Avoid using baking soda if you’re using any acid, such as any other type of vinegar, lemon juice, etc. Mustard has been said to help, too…
• NEVER BOIL YOUR SEITAN
I don’t care what the recipe says! Don’t do it unless you like soggy, spongy results. Simmering is perfectly fine, though, so keep an eye on that pot!
• IF YOUR SEITAN CAME OUT “BREADY”
Your oven temperature may likely be too high, even if you set it according to the directions. Resting it after cooking might help (see the next tip) but even if it doesn’t, don’t throw it out! You can grind it up in your food processor and add it to soups, chilis, or stews, or even make it into meatless balls or a loaf!
• ALWAYS LET YOUR SEITAN REST
Unless you prefer it super tender/soft, most seitan recipes should account for some extra time to rest in the fridge after cooking, usually about 8 hours or overnight. This helps to firm up the texture and and provide “meatier” results.
• TO KNEAD OR NOT TO KNEAD
That is the question… and it depends on your recipe. Typically the more time you knead – either by hand or by food processor (usually preferred) – the more chewy result and the more “shreds” you’ll get. This is from allowing the gluten to develop strands. In some recipes like chicken you may want to knead until the dough is like taffy. For recipes like sausage or meatballs you don’t typically want shreds, so no kneading necessary. Finally, if you’re willing to wait, toss your dough overnight in the fridge covered by a damp cloth and allow the gluten to develop on its own.
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