Today is World Vegan Day and we’d like to take a moment to honor Our Lord Seitan.
This is a basic recipe for homemade seitan, a versatile protein which can be marinated and cooked just like any old slab o’ flesh. There are some vegans who refuse to eat anything resembling meat… well, we ain’t that kind of vegan. It’s cheap to make, and a hell of a lot cheaper than buying it, but does require time, preparation, running water, and upper body strength. Since I have tendinitis, Jenni uses her muscle-y arms to knead all the dough. I highly recommend making the dough a few days before you intend to cook it. This can be a lengthy process, so I suggest the following for 3 days of prep.
(Makes Approximately 1 lb of Seitan)
DAY 1: MAKE THE SEITAN DOUGH
4 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Let’s make some dough! In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour and 2 cups of water. Using the kneading attachment, mix on a low speed until the water is well incorporated. Continue adding water, a little bit at a time, until the dough comes together to form a ball that is moist, but still pulls away clean from the sides of the mixing bowl. Remove the dough and on a well floured surface, knead continuously for about 15 minutes. This is a really great arm workout, as well as a great way to aggravate tendinitis, so if you’re like me, find a good friend who is kind enough to do this work for you. After you have finished kneading the dough, place it into a large bowl and cover it with water, enough so that the dough is entirely submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge. Let the dough sit for at least 2 hours to overnight.
DAY 2: BOIL AND MARINATE THE SEITAN DOUGH
3 quarts Homemade Vegetable Broth
1 portion of seitan dough
Marinade of choice (I happen to love homemade BBQ sauce)
Remove the bowl of seitan from the fridge and set it into your kitchen sink. Knead the dough in the bowl while its submerged in water. The water will become cloudy. Pour out the cloudy water and refill the bowl with clean water. Continue to knead the dough like that, pouring off the cloudy water, etc., until the water remains clear while you are still kneading the dough in the bowl.
Here are some tips while kneading underwater:
1.) Replace the cloudy water often.
2.) Be gentle – challenge yourself to keep it all in a ball, tucking little pieces that fall off back inside to have the maximum amount.
3.) Try not to end up with a bunch of strips instead of a big ball. At the end, it will be mostly done but with little dough clumps. Squeeze those gently underwater and then just be patient and knead gently…. it will eventually run clear.
Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a large stockpot. Once the broth is boiling, drop in your seitan. Continue to boil, gently using a cooking spoon to ensure that the dough does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Maintain a rolling boil and cover the pot, moving the lid off just slightly to let some steam escape. Let the seitan boil for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure that it’s fully submerged in liquid and cooking evenly on each side. The seitan should basically double in size.
Remove the seitan, reserving the cooking liquid for another use. Allow it to cool before cutting into desired portions. Use marinade of choice and allow the seitan to sit, covered in the marinade in the fridge for at least 3 hours to overnight.
DAY 3: COOK THE SEITAN
Grill it, bake it, worship it, rub it all over your face…whatever’s clever.