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WTF Seitan Shreds

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Making seitan yourself is still pretty daunting for many. There are just so many factors that can end up negatively affecting your bottom line and ruin all of the work. With this recipe I would like to give you a fairly light basis on how you can make your own super delicious seitan from washed out flour (WTF = Wash that flour) fairly easily.

Duration: Approx. 1 day (including boiling and letting it rest)

Difficulty: medium


2kg wheat flour

About 900g of water

Your choice of spices


We start by kneading a simple dough from the flour and the water in a large bowl. It's better to add the water little by little, the dough doesn't have to be too moist. The consistency should be something like pizza dough and if you feel that it is too dry, add a little more water. The main thing is that the dough kneaded relatively well.

After the dough is kneaded and ready, fill the bowl with cold water until the dough is completely covered. Let it soak for 1-2 hours.

When the time is up, the real work begins. First you pour the water out of the bowl.

Now fill the bowl with cold water and start kneading the dough in it. By doing this, you wash the starch out of the dough, until at the end almost only the pure wheat protein, gluten, remains.

As soon as the water is really milky white, pour the water once through a sieve.

Now the dough comes back into the bowl and is poured again with water. This time with warm water. Alternating between cold and warm water is said to be beneficial for gluten formation. I don't know if that's true, but it worked for me pretty well so far. :D

Since you have already washed out some of the starch, you should already notice slight strands of gluten while kneading.

As soon as the water is really milky again, pour it out through the sieve.

You repeat the process several times, the dough will shrink a little further each time, as you work more and more starch out of the dough.

The consistency should become more and more "gum-like" but also firmer after a few repetitions.

In theory, you can wash out the seitan until the water stays completely clear. Pure seitan, however, tends to get a little gummy after it's cooked. For the consistency, it is enough for me if the water is slightly transparent, as in the picture. This should be the case after about 5-6 times.

In general, you can assume that the clearer the water, the purer the seitan and the firmer the consistency is likely to be. I like to use seitan for dishes like "pulled pork" or gyros / kebab, so it is completely okay for me if there is a little more starch in it. But of course you can experiment to your heart's content.

When you have finished washing it out, simply let the seitan drip off in the sieve and relax a little.

After the seitan has drained off, you can add spices to it. I would recommend that you mainly use dry spices. Ingredients such as soy sauce or tomato paste are better used later as a marinade or for seasoning in the pan.

If you work in spices, you should let the seitan rest again afterwards so that it can relax a little and combine better.

Your seitan is relaxed enough when you can pull on it with little effort without the risk of tearing it. After about 20 minutes it looked like this to me. I haven't kneaded in any spices at this point. That the seitan can be brewed well is important for the next step.

Now you knot the seitan. As often as you can without it tearing. When you have tied a few knots in it, let it rest briefly again. As a rule, you can then pull it again a little afterwards to get even more knots in it. The knots add to the fibrous consistency as they give the gluten a rough direction in which the strands should develop.

To get a little taste of the unseasoned seitan, I would advise you to let it simmer for 2 hours in a very strong broth made from soy sauce & vegetable broth, about 3 liters should be enough for the amount of seitan. If you know that you want to make gyros out of it, for example, you can of course also add spices such as savory, paprika and garlic to the broth to bring more flavor to the dough.

Turn your seitan knot in between times because it drifts up and everything should be cooked evenly as possible.

You could also divide the seitan into smaller pieces at this point instead of cooking it in one piece, for example if you want to make schnitzel out of it.

They should then be brought into the desired shape before cooking and, depending on the size, of course, need a shorter time in the broth.

You could also steam the seitan at this point, but since I have no experience with steaming, I unfortunately cannot give you any instructions for duration and Co.

When the seitan has finished cooking, there is a very important step. Get it out of the broth and let it cool down in peace.

Preferably in the refrigerator overnight.

This adds significantly to the consistency and if you use the seitan right now, the result will not be as good as if you wait.

The next day you should be able to tear the seitan apart without much effort and get these great seitan strands or shreds that just have a great consistency.

The seitan, at least mine, is still almost unseasoned, you can either let it steep in a marinade of your choice or season it directly in the pan.

For gyros or kebab, I would heat a pan with oil and then fry small amounts of the seitan in it. When the seitan gets crispy (the small amount of starch left in the seitan helps a lot), I deglaze it with a little soy sauce and then season with gyros / kebab spice. You can find them in many spice departments or in the Turkish/Arab supermarkets, atleast here in Germany.

Now you can use the seitan as you like and enjoy it as a doner kebab or gyros plate.

Guten Appetit!

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.

But if you want to invite me on a virtual cup of fairtrade coffee via my PayPal.Me Link, I wouldn't say no. It would mean the world to me and helps me to keep buying ingredients for even more recipes. Thank you for cooking something vegan. 💜

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