VWG Seitan Shreds
Updated: Jun 9, 2021
In the last few weeks I was often asked whether the seitan shreds can also be made with gluten powder instead of washed out flour using the WTF method. Sure!
The whole thing then requires a little different ingredients and equipment.
The differences between the two methods are also not so small in terms of the result. So a very brief comparison for the two approaches:
The WTF method is cheap because it actually only requires flour and spices. But it is more time-consuming because you have to wash out the flour yourself. Many people complain that seitan has a certain gluten taste, which is much less apparent with this method.
The VWG method is a little more expensive because several ingredients are required for an ideal result and, in my opinion, the best result can only be achieved with a kitchen or kneading machine. Gluten powder is often sold as "Vital Wheat Gluten" in other countries, which is why this abbreviation is used in many forums and recipe blogs. With this method, however, the shreds are a little firmer in the bite and spices can be worked into the dough perfectly.
So what's the bottom line? Do what you like! Just give both methods a go. I don't have a clear favorite between the two methods, for me the pros and cons of the two outweigh each other pretty well.
Duration: 3 hours (+ 1 night rest)
Makes: Approx. 750g seitan shreds
400g canned white beans or chickpeas (including liquid)
100g water (or soy milk for an even lighter looking result)
2g apple cider vinegar
50g rapeseed oil
10g yeast extract
5g yeast flakes
2g onion granules
250g gluten powder / seitan fix
Weigh all ingredients, except for the gluten powder, in your food processor or blender and mix them until you get a nice, smooth, silky liquid.
The 400g cans for beans are really relatively relevant here, as at least in my experience they have the best liquid-to-bean ratio.
You probably know that you can make "egg whites" or aquafaba from the water of chickpeas.
This is exactly what we are making use of here. The liquid in the beans or chickpeas contains so-called saponins (Sapo is the Latin term for soap) and starches and proteins of the beans, which together form foam. These ensure that our seitan does not end up as a gummy blob from the cooking process.
Now put the liquid together with the gluten powder in your food processor and mix the whole thing on the highest possible level for 3-4 minutes.
If you have the feeling that your machine is not able to do this, knead the dough roughly with your hand and then put it into the machine in several passes.
At the end you should get such small, chewing gum-like seitan nodules.
Put the seitan in a bowl, knead it again by hand and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then it should be really nice to pull. Now preheat the oven to 125°C.
Make as many knots as possible in your long seitan snake without tearing the dough.
The seitan knot is then first wrapped in baking paper and then in two layers of aluminum foil as tightly as possible and then left in the oven for 2 hours.
The two layers of foil are quite relevant, because they keep the seitan fromgetting dry and they're also not releasing much steam, so the seitan is basically steaming itself within the foil.
It is best to turn it halfway through and if you have a wire rack, use that too if possible so that the seitan does not get too much color on one side from the hot baking sheet. In theory, you can also steam the seitan, but I just don't have the equipment for that.
In the end, the seitan should have expanded quite a bit in the foil. Then take it out of the oven, let it cool down a bit (in the foil), and then put it in the fridge overnight.
This step is really important for the consistency, if you process it immediately, the result will not be nearly as good.
The next day you should be able to tear the seitan into shreds in a relaxed manner and process them further as you wish. The good thing about this method is that, depending on what you want to use it for, you can work the spices evenly into the dough. Do you want to make burritos? Simply add the spices directly to the dough. Doner? Exactly the same. You can of course vary the amount of salt, depending on what you want to season with. The recipe is now really very "basic" and can therefore be changed as the mood takes you as far as the spices are concerned.
Have fun experimenting!
I took the opportunity to turn the shreds into a delicious side dish for fried noodles. For this I seared 150g of the shreds in a little oil, mixed a marinade of 10g maple syrup, 25g soy sauce, 5g chili paste (I highly recommend Gochujang), 2g sesame oil and 3g mirin and then used it to extinguish the shreds.
Just add a little bit of roasted sesame seeds and enjoy.
If you've read this far, you might have noticed that I'm not running any adds, to improve your reading experience and because I deeply believe, that vegan recipes should be accesible to anyone.
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