Sorry guys, no food today. We are having leftovers, the Black Bean Burgers (VCON) again with oven baked onion rings and some steamed frozen corn. So I am going to give you a treat. An almost impossible to mess up seitan (or so I think). And while I put this combination together, it rests on the backs of two blogging giants, Celine at Have Cake will Travel and Bryanna Grogan at Notes from the Vegan Feast Kitchen. They both, very graciously, have allowed me to post my version of baked seitan using a recipe from Celine and a technique from Bryanna (along with her recipe for “Chicken” Style Broth Powder).
First some history. The seitan recipe comes from one that Celine posted for Baked Seitan Steaks, based on the turkey flavorings used by Sarah Kramer in one of her seitan recipes. I made it a few times and really liked it, since it only makes a small amount and was easy to do. However, it came out “bready” for me. Even with a good bit of kneading it was still “bready” after being baked. Then I was looking at the Seitan “Turkey” recipe of Bryanna’s and did really think about making it. Especially since it looked like the recipe could be halved without any major problems. But the more I looked at what it would take to make that seitan, and how much work it would be by hand and also how much it would make, it just didn’t seem feasible in my tiny kitchen. So in a flash of inspiration I decided to combine Celine’s recipe with Bryanna’s technique of baking the seitan with a broth, with one addition of my own; some chickpea flour added to the seitan.
The first time I tried it, the seitan came out great; even though I forgot both the nutritional yeast and the chickpea flour. It was soft, had a wonderful flavor, a great texture and very moist. In fact that first batch is still in my refrigerator and is still moist, even though it is not stored in a broth. And the best part is that I can make it in my toaster oven in a small casserole; though if one wanted to, it could also be cooked as one big loaf in a small loaf pan as well.
Now while I claim this is almost foolproof, we all know that seitan can be a bit touchy; so I will make no promises. However, Bryanna’s technique of baking the seitan with a broth prevents a lot of potential problems. If you have never tried seitan before, this might be a good recipe to start with, since it is fairly simple. For those who don’t make the “Chicken” Style Broth Powder for the baking broth and use a commercial version, remember that it may turn out saltier than you may like. That is why I say that you only need one teaspoon of the commercial powder and you may also want to skip the salt in the seitan as well. As an added bonus, Bryanna’s broth powder can be soy free, for those of you that are allergic.
Baked Seitan Steaks II
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 cup water
1 1/2 Tbs tamari (or your favorite soy sauce replacement)
3 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt [optional, if you're watching your sodium intake, since there is tamari already]
1 tsp Vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Or 2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
2 Tbs chickpea flour (optional, if you want it)
1 cup water, hot
2 tsp Bryanna's "Chicken" Style broth powder (see recipe below) or 1 tsp commercial unchicken broth powder
1. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and liquid ingredients in another. Stir together till combined and then knead for at least 5 minutes (edit: dough may feel gritty, don't worry, broth will be absorbed when cooking and grittiness will not be evident in final product). Let seitan rest for 5 minutes.
2. Prepare stock with water and broth powder
3. Shape your seitan in two steaks (I cut the seitan in half with a metal pastry scraper and shape each half). Place steaks in pan and pour broth over them and cover with aluminum foil. Cook in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, turn over and cook for another 30 minutes. Let cool in pan till close to room temperature (about 1 hour). Then place seitan in a storage container and put in refrigerator or wrap in foil and freeze till needed.
4. If using a loaf pan, the put the entire amount of seitan in the bottom of the loaf pan, cover with the broth and then cover the loaf pan with aluminum foil, making a tent over the pan. Place in the 350 degree oven and flip after 30 minutes like above. Take out when done and let cool till room temperature and place in the refrigerator or wrap in foil and place in the freezer.
Edit to add: feel free to double or triple this recipe, it still cooks up very well, if you want a nice loaf to get sliced cutlets or for lunch meat I recommend tripling the recipe and turning the loaf after one hour then testing after a second hour to see if it is done, if not then check in 15 minute intervals until another hour has elapsed, can also make steaks in a multiplied recipe but need to increase pan size, 8x8 for a double recipe, possibly up to 11x17 for a triple recipe, also increase cooking times proportionally
Yield: 2 big steaks or one medium size seitan loaf
edit: good 7 days in the refrigerator, possibly up to 8 weeks in the freezer (will update if changes)
BRYANNA'S HOMEMADE VEGAN "CHICKEN-STYLE" BROTH POWDER
NOTE: I used to call for 1 Tbs. powder per cup of water, but have found that 2 tsp. works just fine!
I invented this broth powder when I was having trouble finding a natural broth powder here in Canada that actually tasted good! It's cheap and easy to make and has excellent flavor. You need to use twice as much of this homemade broth powder as Seitenbacher, but the sodium comes out about the same.
Yield: 1 1/4 cups or 30 cups of broth
1 1/3 cups nutritional yeast flakes
3 Tbs onion powder
7 1/2 tsp (2 1/2 Tbs) sea salt
1 Tbs soy protein powder (OR rice protein powder)
1 Tbs vegan sugar
2 1/2 tsp. garlic granules or powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp finely crumbled dried sage (NOT powdered)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
Blend in a dry blender or food processor until powdery. Store in a dry, airtight container .
Use 2 level teaspoons per cup of boiling water.
These are the steaks after shaping and before covering the pan with foil to bake for the first 30 minutes.
These are the steaks after cooking for 80 minutes and being turned over.
These are the steaks after cooking for an hour and cooling in the pan for an hour. At this point you can put then in a container and refrigerate them or wrap them in foil and freeze them.
Hope you all enjoy this. If you are still looking for something for Christmas, it is not to late to make it. I made mine last week and put them in the freezer. All I have to do is thaw them out and reheat it on Thursday.
This may be my only post this week, so I will see you after Christmas and hope all of you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and also a good Kwanza.