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Seitan How to Make


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  • Here is a recipe for homemade seitan:
  • 6 cups whole wheat bread flour or high-gluten unbleached white flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 12 slices fresh ginger, each 1/8 inch thick,
  • 1 piece of kombu, about 3 inches long.
  • Can Freeze Seitan in it's broth or not in plastic bags if not going to use it immediately.



Step 1

Mix the flour and water with a wooden fork to make medium-stiff but not sticky dough.

Knead the dough by hand on a breadboard or tabletop, until it has the consistency of an earlobe (seriously), about 10 minutes. You may add a little water if needed to get the right consistency.

Allow the dough to rest in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes. While the dough is resting, prepare the stock. In a large pot, bring to boil 3 quarts of water. Add the tamari or soy, ginger, and kombu, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. This stock must be cold before it is used. (The cool liquid causes the gluten to contract and prevents the seitan from acquiring a bread-like texture.) You will be using this stock to cook the seitan later.

Meanwhile, it is time to start washing the dough; use warm water to start. Warm water loosens the dough and makes the task easier. Some people knead the dough while it is immersed in water in a bowl. I prefer to rinse it under running water, with the flow stream about as thick as a pencil. I hold the dough in/over a spaghetti strainer (colander) just in case I might drop some pieces of dough.

The water will look very milky at first and then get more "ňútransparent'. In the final rinses, use cold water to tighten the gluten. After about 10 to 15 minutes, you will begin to feel the dough become firmer and more elastic. The water will no longer become cloudy as you knead it. To make sure you have kneaded and rinsed it enough, lift the dough out of the water and squeeze it. The liquid oozing out should be clear, not milky. The size of the ball will be considerably smaller than when you began.

Place the rinsed seitan in an empty bowl and let it rest until the dough relaxes. After the dough has been rinsed for the last time in cold water, the gluten will have tightened and the dough will be tense, tough, and resistant to taking on any other shape.

Seitan is cooked in two steps. In the first step, the dough is put into a large pot with about 3 quarts of plain, boiling water. Boil the seitan for about 30-45 minutes, or until it floats to the surface. Drain the seitan and cut it into usable pieces (steaks, cutlets, 1-inch chunks, or whatever) or leave whole. Return the seitan to the cold tamari stock. Bring the stock to a boil, lower the temperature, and simmer in the stock for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (45 minutes if the seitan is cut into small pieces). This second step may also be done in a pressure cooker, in which case it would take between 30-45 minutes.

To store seitan, keep it refrigerated, immersed in the stock. If it is brought to a boil in the tamari stock and simmered for 10 minutes twice a week, the seitan will keep indefinitely. Otherwise, use it within 8 or 9 days.


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