Seitan & Potato Torta (Homemade Seitan directions)

***Edited –This is NOT gluten free.  In fact Seitan is pretty much pure gluten and is basically a POISON for those with celiac disease!***

Tonight we had Seitan and Spinach Torta from  the book 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson.  The recipe can be found on pg. 315.  This book is on loan from the library, but I think I may need to buy it.  This is the second recipe I’ve tried and we’ve been pretty pleased with both.  This recipe says use black pepper to taste.  That is always tricky for me, and next time I need to use a little lighter hand for Jesse and me.

This is how the dish looked when I took it out of the oven.  I left off the vegan cheese.  As I’ve mentioned before, if it doesn’t taste like the real thing, we’d rather do without.  It tasted great without it, so why bother?

Here is a close up after one serving has been taken out of the dish.

The recipe obviously uses Seitan and I could have gone to the store and purchased a package, but instead I decided to make my own.  It had been awhile.  I took pictures so you can come along on the journey.  I remember my mom making seitan when I was young, however, we just called it gluten steaks.  I remember it being a long drawn out process — hours of soaking and kneading.  The time can be shortened substantially if you have a mixture with a dough hook.  I’m using a Bosch which we received from my in-laws as a wedding gift almost 23 years ago.  It is still going strong.  Any mixer that can do bread should work.

Gluten (aka Seitan)

Pour 9 cups of whole wheat flour in the mixer.

Add 4-1/2 cups warm water and knead for 10 minutes.

Remove bowl from mixer and remove dough hook.

Fill the bowl with cool water.

Knead the dough in the water.  I use two hands, but needed one to take the picture.

The water will turn milky white — this is the starch from the flour.  Pour the water off.  You can save it and use it in bread recipes, but will need to use it soon as it will spoil.

Continue to rinse and knead until water is fairly clear.  You can do this in a colander if you choose.  The gluten will like similar to this and there will be roughly 2-1/2 cups.  You will be able to see strands of gluten.

Stretch gluten into pieces and clip with kitchen shears.

Flatten the cut pieces into steaks.  You can adjust the size of the steaks as desired.  I was planning to chop them up so kept them fairly small.  The will expand when cooked as you will see in a later picture.

At this point the gluten won’t have much flavor.  It needs to be simmered in some sort of broth.  I just made up my own this time.  I used 1/4 cup lite soy sauce, 4 large cloves of garlic, about 2 tablespoons dried minced onions and two packages of Brown G. Washington Broth.  I added enough water to cover the steaks and brought the liquid to a boil.  Then I dropped the steaks into the broth,

Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour.  Here is the gluten at the end of the hour.  Notice the steaks did puff up.

At this point you can use the steaks in a recipe or freeze them for later use.

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1 Comment

  1. Marilyn said,

    August 16, 2010 at 10:41 am

    thanks sonya! you inspired me to make it your way. my wheat is grinding as i type. i usually make the gluten with high gluten flour i haven’t done the washing thing for a long time. looking forward to getting my hands into it again.


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