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Rating

This is the best steak texture I've ever achieved and it came out of several tests with varying ingredients and cooking methods. Though there are a couple unique ingredients, the good news is you should be able to source them online, and you'll get a lot of use out of them if you like to make a lot of beefy-style seitan!

A few notes about this recipe:

1. Since this seitan is made with washed flour, you need to wash out the right amount of starch to achieve the correct texture. This can be tricky if you’re not experienced with washing. Learn how to wash flour here. In this case, you're looking for the water to be cloudy/hazy when you've finished washing. You should be able to see through it but it should not be completely clear. If you leave in too much starch your seitan may be doughy and not have enough flavor. Leave in too little and it can turn out rubbery.

2. Weighing your flour instead of using measuring cups helps because it ensures you’re beginning with the correct amount. When I start with 1kg of flour, I typically end up with about 430-450g of gluten after it has been well-rested and drained.

3. The two keys to this recipe's success came down to sticking with dry seasonings only, and steaming instead of simmering (even though simmering works great for "chicken" and lots of other recipes.) If you're unable to find the dry seasoning ingredients, you can use their more common liquid counterparts (I have provided the amounts below) but it will likely make your steak more soft. If that's the case, see my next point.

4. I wanted so much for the Methylcellulose (MC) I purchased to be the answer to my perfectly-grilled steak texture, but in this case it simply wasn’t. In my initial tests, when using some wet seasonings along with dry it did help absorb some of the excess liquid, but still not enough for the texture to be what I was after. (I have added a step in the recipe on how to use it in case you want to try this way.) Once I switched to dry seasonings only, the addition of the MC almost made it like a "well-done" steak instead of "medium" or "medium-rare." All the omnis agreed that the seitan without MC and dry-only seasonings came much closer to real steak texture than both versions with!

Ingredients

 1 kg bread flour (approximately 7 1/4 cups)If using all purpose flour, add another 140g/1 cup
 690 ml water (3 cups)You may not need all of this, but if using AP flour you may need a little more.
 1 tbsp porcini mushroom powderBuy it pre-ground or grind your own (for me it costs the same). In my opinion Porcini have the most beefy flavor of all the mushrooms and so I highly recommend them..
 1 tbsp soy sauce powderI've started using this in place of liquid in washed flour recipes to help keep the results more firm. Sub 2 tbsp liquid soy sauce/tamari/aminos. ***See sub info below.
 2 tsp beetroot powderOptional, for color.
 2 tsp onion powder
 1 tsp smoked paprika
 1 tsp garlic powder
 1 tsp salt
 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
 1/2 tsp Worcestershire powderI've also started using this in place of the liquid for more firm results. Sub 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce. **See sub info below.
 1/2 tsp instant coffee
 1 ½ tbsp Methylcellulose******Only needed if using liquid seasonings, see below.
 2-3 tablespoon neutral-tasting oil I used avocado oil which has a neutral taste and a high-smoke temperature


Directions

Washing Flour
1

Start by adding about 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.

2

Wash that flour! If you're new to flour-washing, check out this step-by-step tutorial here. For this I washed until the water was cloudy/hazy. You want to be able to see through it, but if it's perfectly clear your steak may end up rubbery/chewy.

3

Once washed, drain your ball of gluten for at least 20-30 minutes. While it's draining, you can either add all of the remaining seitan seasoning ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, or into a bowl and stir together by hand.

Don't forget to save that starch! So many things you can do with it, like make an awesome cheese sauce and turn this steak recipe into a cheesesteak!

***Skip to Step 6 if Using Wet Seasonings***
4

If using a food processor, add the drained gluten to it with your seasonings and blitz. If you don't have a processor, mix the seasonings together in a bowl and use a knife or kitchen scissors to cut them into the gluten.

5

You can mix the seasonings into the gluten until they're fully incorporated, or leave it only partially mixed so you have some fatty-looking streaks. Place the seasoned gluten on a cutting board with grooves or wherever it can drain a little more and let it rest like this until it can be stretched and knotted. This may take at least 30 minutes to 1 hour or possibly longer depending on ambient humidity and how wet your dough was before seasoning.

***Skip This Step if Using Dry Seasonings Only***
6

Mix all your seasonings together along with the Methylcellulose (MC)* to form a paste, then mix the paste into your gluten, preferably with a blender or food processor if using the MC so it gets fully incorporated. Store the seasoned gluten in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 mins, but closer to 1-2 hours is better to give the MC a chance to absorb extra liquid. After that you can remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature (I find it easier to stretch and knot the gluten at room temp.)

*NOTE: You don't have to use the MC at all, but it will help your end result achieve a slightly more firm and steak-like texture. If not using you can rest it at room temperature for 1-2 hours or longer until the gluten is strong enough to stretch.

Cooking the Steak(s)
7

The next step depends on if you want individual steaks or one large. If individual, cut the dough into as many even portions as you like (you should be able to get 4 small steaks) and stretch the dough of each enough to be able to tie it in a knot. (If it's still breaking easily, rest longer.) Twist each section of dough as you knot to develop more grain. Push each down to flatten into standard steak shapes.

If going for a single steak, cut three strips, leaving the end in tact. Then braid them together, twisting each section as you go. You will likely end up with a long and skinny steak, so fold it in half and push it down to flatten it out into more of a steak shape.

8

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan. I used enough to evenly coat the bottom. Once hot, add the seitan steak(s) and press down to flatten more if necessary as they cook. You're looking to just start to brown both sides, so if you're finishing on the grill you can still achieve those beautiful grill marks!

9

Once browned, set aside to cool and get your steamer ready. I use a large pot fitted with a couple steamer baskets, but you could also use an Instant Pot or similar device if you have one. Steam the steaks for one hour total. I flip mine halfway through to make sure it's steaming evenly and to make sure I don't run out of water in the pot.

10

Once steamed, allow to come to room temperature then let rest in the fridge overnight. Finish however you like to finish your steaks, though I would recommend basting with a little oil on the grill so they don't dry out. My current favorite is to marinate in this Chimichurri sauce, then grill on medium/high, basting with more sauce as you go, until heated through and you've got some nice grill marks. Enjoy!

Vegan Cheesesteak To make the cheesesteak: after steaming and resting, thinly-slice the steak, rip into smaller pieces, and fry with a little oil and steak seasonings. Fry up your favorite toppings like onions, peppers, and mushrooms, and load on this easy and amazing cheese sauce made with leftover starch water!

More Washed Flour Recipes

Vegan Roasted Cuban Mojo PorkBy JenThis savory, juicy, and zesty roasted seitan pork is awesome shredded in tacos or on sandwiches, or sliced and served with the remaining juices!
Vegan Pork Chops | Washed Flour SeitanBy JenThese vegan seitan pork chops are easy to make and incredibly versatile. The fatty layer really puts them over the top! Pan sear and then bake in a flavorful broth for the meatiest, juiciest chop ever!
Vegan GYRO Seitan Meat / WTF methodBy bigassveganAs a vegan, I've eaten some pretty good gyros over the years, but, trust me, nothing comes even close to this one! I promise, if you make it, you will become a gyro snob, just like I am now.
Vegan Steak | Washed Flour SeitanBy JenThis is the best steak texture I've ever achieved and it came out of several tests with varying ingredients and cooking methods. Though there are a couple unique ingredients, the good news is you should be able to source them online, and you'll get a lot of use out of them if you like to make a lot of beefy-style seitan!
1 2 3 8

Ingredients

 1 kg bread flour (approximately 7 1/4 cups)If using all purpose flour, add another 140g/1 cup
 690 ml water (3 cups)You may not need all of this, but if using AP flour you may need a little more.
 1 tbsp porcini mushroom powderBuy it pre-ground or grind your own (for me it costs the same). In my opinion Porcini have the most beefy flavor of all the mushrooms and so I highly recommend them..
 1 tbsp soy sauce powderI've started using this in place of liquid in washed flour recipes to help keep the results more firm. Sub 2 tbsp liquid soy sauce/tamari/aminos. ***See sub info below.
 2 tsp beetroot powderOptional, for color.
 2 tsp onion powder
 1 tsp smoked paprika
 1 tsp garlic powder
 1 tsp salt
 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
 1/2 tsp Worcestershire powderI've also started using this in place of the liquid for more firm results. Sub 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce. **See sub info below.
 1/2 tsp instant coffee
 1 ½ tbsp Methylcellulose******Only needed if using liquid seasonings, see below.
 2-3 tablespoon neutral-tasting oil I used avocado oil which has a neutral taste and a high-smoke temperature

Directions

Washing Flour
1

Start by adding about 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.

2

Wash that flour! If you're new to flour-washing, check out this step-by-step tutorial here. For this I washed until the water was cloudy/hazy. You want to be able to see through it, but if it's perfectly clear your steak may end up rubbery/chewy.

3

Once washed, drain your ball of gluten for at least 20-30 minutes. While it's draining, you can either add all of the remaining seitan seasoning ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, or into a bowl and stir together by hand.

Don't forget to save that starch! So many things you can do with it, like make an awesome cheese sauce and turn this steak recipe into a cheesesteak!

***Skip to Step 6 if Using Wet Seasonings***
4

If using a food processor, add the drained gluten to it with your seasonings and blitz. If you don't have a processor, mix the seasonings together in a bowl and use a knife or kitchen scissors to cut them into the gluten.

5

You can mix the seasonings into the gluten until they're fully incorporated, or leave it only partially mixed so you have some fatty-looking streaks. Place the seasoned gluten on a cutting board with grooves or wherever it can drain a little more and let it rest like this until it can be stretched and knotted. This may take at least 30 minutes to 1 hour or possibly longer depending on ambient humidity and how wet your dough was before seasoning.

***Skip This Step if Using Dry Seasonings Only***
6

Mix all your seasonings together along with the Methylcellulose (MC)* to form a paste, then mix the paste into your gluten, preferably with a blender or food processor if using the MC so it gets fully incorporated. Store the seasoned gluten in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 mins, but closer to 1-2 hours is better to give the MC a chance to absorb extra liquid. After that you can remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature (I find it easier to stretch and knot the gluten at room temp.)

*NOTE: You don't have to use the MC at all, but it will help your end result achieve a slightly more firm and steak-like texture. If not using you can rest it at room temperature for 1-2 hours or longer until the gluten is strong enough to stretch.

Cooking the Steak(s)
7

The next step depends on if you want individual steaks or one large. If individual, cut the dough into as many even portions as you like (you should be able to get 4 small steaks) and stretch the dough of each enough to be able to tie it in a knot. (If it's still breaking easily, rest longer.) Twist each section of dough as you knot to develop more grain. Push each down to flatten into standard steak shapes.

If going for a single steak, cut three strips, leaving the end in tact. Then braid them together, twisting each section as you go. You will likely end up with a long and skinny steak, so fold it in half and push it down to flatten it out into more of a steak shape.

8

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan. I used enough to evenly coat the bottom. Once hot, add the seitan steak(s) and press down to flatten more if necessary as they cook. You're looking to just start to brown both sides, so if you're finishing on the grill you can still achieve those beautiful grill marks!

9

Once browned, set aside to cool and get your steamer ready. I use a large pot fitted with a couple steamer baskets, but you could also use an Instant Pot or similar device if you have one. Steam the steaks for one hour total. I flip mine halfway through to make sure it's steaming evenly and to make sure I don't run out of water in the pot.

10

Once steamed, allow to come to room temperature then let rest in the fridge overnight. Finish however you like to finish your steaks, though I would recommend basting with a little oil on the grill so they don't dry out. My current favorite is to marinate in this Chimichurri sauce, then grill on medium/high, basting with more sauce as you go, until heated through and you've got some nice grill marks. Enjoy!

Vegan Steak | Washed Flour Seitan