If you're looking for a flavorful, yet simple recipe for ham from washed flour, look no further! No need to worry about achieving the perfect oven temperature, frying or making a broth, because this seitan is cooked by wrapping and steaming. Slices up perfectly for sandwiches, too!
I began by adding a few drops of red food coloring to the 3 cups of water.* Start by adding about 2 1/2 cups of water and mix it into your flour. If it's not forming into a dough, add a little more. It's easier to wash if it's a little bit sticky as opposed to dry and crumbly, but too much water can make it fall apart when washing. Make sure the water is fully incorporated. You can either knead it into a ball or simply let it rest in the bowl like this for 15 minutes. Then cover it with cool water and let it rest again for about an hour.
*You can whisk beetroot powder into your flour if you prefer, or add it into your spice paste, though it may turn a little brown during steaming.
Wash that flour! If you're new to flour-washing, check out this step-by-step tutorial here. For this I washed to the cloudy water stage. I try to wash as much starch out as I can because I want the texture for this to be meaty, but washing to clear water could make it a bit rubbery.
Once washed, drain your ball of gluten for about 20-30 minutes. While it's draining, add all of the seasoning ingredients into a small bowl and mix them together into a paste. Wring out your gluten to remove as much excess water as possible. After doing this mine weighed 475g, or just a little over a pound.
Add your gluten and seasoning paste to the food processor and blitz until it's fully mixed. If you don't have one you can also use a knife or kitchen scissors to cut in seasonings by hand. Place the mixture on a cutting board with grooves or in a place it can drain a little more and let it rest like this for about an hour.
For steaming you can use an Instant Pot fitted with the trivet or a pot on the stove with a vegetable steamer basket and lid. Add water until it sits just below the top of the trivet or basket, and if using the stove-top method get it going on medium/high.
When the seitan is ready it should be strong enough to stretch without breaking. Shape it into a ball and flatten a little bit to make it more rectangular. Use aluminum foil or muslin/cheesecloth to wrap it like a package. You want it to be wrapped pretty tight so it doesn't have much room to expand. Place it in the Instant Pot and set to manual/high for 1 hour, or steam for one hour. When steaming, check it halfway through to make sure there's enough water in the pot.
The seitan should feel firm once cooked. Keeping it wrapped, let it come to room temperature. Then, let it rest in the fridge for about 8 hours or overnight. It will continue to firm up as it rests.
Don't forget to save that starch! You can use it to make the perfect cheese to go with this sandwich!