Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Steamed Gluten Log

Oh, how I wanted this to work! I have been wanting to steam seitan since Julie Hasson blogged about it here. Not really a fan of the taste of sausage I resisted until I saw Kittee's version here. Look at how plump and juicy that stuff is! Perfection right? Well, mine came out more like this...Dry. It slices well enough and the flavor is great (just enough seasoning to be flavorful but not so much of any one ingredient that it would compete with another in any recipe. very versatile in that way!), but the texture, for me, turned out to be a lot like the Seitan O' Greatness (which I totally had a love affair with, good stuff, just not what I was hoping for texture-wise), only a much larger log. Here are the things I think went wrong with my attempt:

1. the recipe calls for four cups of onion, or two medium sized ones. I had two med-large sweet onions on hand and that's what I used. I diced them fine in the processor and knew they wouldn't measure to be four cups, not even close, two if I was lucky (and I wasn't. sigh), but I didn't really worry about it, just moved on to caramelizing (Mmmmm, at least the house has smelled amazing all day!).

2. once I mixed the wet and dry ingredients, I noticed my dough was super dry and crumbly. It shouldn't just stick together while mixing with a spoon. Adding the last quarter cup of gluten seemed like a really bad idea so I added water until the consistency was better but just adding it and mixing with a spoon wasn't gonna cut it. So, I worked the additional liquid in with my hands and, in the end, felt like the dough was a bit overworked.

2. While I wrapped the seitan up tight and made sure to wrap it in two different directions to make it secure, secure it was not. Somewhere in the last thirty minutes the seitan busted thru and ripped open the foil, leaving it exposed to the steam directly.

So, I used it today for a simple sandwich and Taylor seems to enjoy nibbling on slices of it just fine, but I'm now craving a more moist and juicy variety and I think I'll be boiling some very, very soon.
Until then, I have an idea to revive my dry slabs and will hopefully be sharing the successful outcome in tomorrow's dinner!

oh, and sorry 'bout the lighting in these pics. It's late and apparently the lighting in my kitchen is REALLY yellow. yikes!


Unknown said...

sorry about your seitan, girl. i have made that seitan a million times, i have no idea what happened. the onions are definitely part of it, you need four full cups. the dough is pretty wet, so somewhere along the line you either used too much gluten powder or your liquids were off? maybe the onions were enough to throw it off balance? i dunno--yours is really orange too! i wish i could've been there to see what happened. why don't you just grind it up and use it for tacos and stuff?

vegan.in.brighton said...

Awww I hate it when a recipe I'm excited about doesn't work out so well - at least it's edible!