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Seitan Bacon

seitan bacon


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Last night I searched the internet in an effort to find a seitan bacon recipe.  I don’t really miss meat, it’s been many years, but there are times that I feel nostaligic for things like pepperoni and bacon.  The great thing with those products is that you are tasting the spices rather than the actual meat.  So, it is fairly easy to mimic them.  I found a seitan bacon recipe on the Vegan Cooking Club blog.  I decided to try it out and, well, it worked.
In order to make this recipe “look” like bacon you will need to make two separate seitan doughs. 

Red Dough:

1 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
1/4 cup Soy Flour
2 Tbl Nut. Yeast
4 tsp paprika (Hungarian is best and adds the most color)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp black pepper

2/3 cup warm water
3 Tbl soy sauce
3 Tbl maple syrup
1 Tbl tomato paste (also adds to the red color)
1 tsp Liquid Smoke

White Dough:

1/2 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
2 Tbl Soy Flour
1 Tbl Nut. Yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt

1/2 cup warm water
3 tsp canola oil

seitan bacon

Break the red dough into 4 pieces and the white dough into 3-4 pieces. Flatten each piece and layer alternating colors. This is your time to be creative. Once you have a big block of dough lay it on an oiled cutting board. Place another cutting board/saran wrap on top. Press your dough for at least 30 minutes. This also alows the gluten to relax. 

After your dough has been pressed bake the whole “loaf” at 300F for 45 minutes. Your seitan will be a bit undercooked but this is what you want. It makes it easier to slice and it will pan-fry better.

seitan bacon

After you slice it store it in ziploc bags or vacuum seal it. Seitan freezes well too. To prepare for a meal you can chop it up into bits of lightly fry to get it crisp. This won’t behave just like bacon but it’ll add some new flavors and flair to your non-meat menu. 

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Seitan pepperoni pizza

Sadly, I cannot claim credit for the recipe for seitan (pronounced “say-tan”) pepperoni.  I got the recipe from Fat Free Kitchen.  I do want to give credit where it is due and I don’t want people to think that I am stealing this recipe.  I would be sad if someone stole one of my recipes.  I did tweak the original recipe in minor ways, but nothing so drastic that I could claim it as my own. 

Dry ingredients:

1 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons smoked paprika or regular paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoons mustard seeds (I used brown seeds and I ground it with my mortar/pestle)
1 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (also ground with mortar/pestle)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Wet ingredients:

2 tablespoons peanut butter
2/3 cup water
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon agave nectar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix all wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.  Make sure to mix the wet ingredients well so that they can be easily incorporated into gluten.  An easy way to make sure peanut butter mixes with water is to heat both up in the microwave for a minute.  This softens the peanut butter enough to mix with the water.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry, stirring well; I use a Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment. Remove from the bowl and knead for a few extra minutes.  You want to make sure that all your ingredients are evenly distributed.  Tip:  once you mix water or any liquid with your gluten you will not be able to add anything else to the mixture.  This is why it is important to have all of your wet ingredients mixed together prior to adding them to your gluten mixture. 

Roll the mixture into a log shape and cut in half so that you have two shorter pieces.  Normally I will cut this recipe into four equal pieces so they are more like snack sticks.  Once you have created your logs tightly roll them in aluminum foil, shiny side in.  Make sure to use lots of foil because your seitan logs will try to expand in the oven and they will, I have done it, explode out of the foil.  Seal the ends by twisting and pushing in to compact the seitan even more.  You want to make a tight seal.  Place logs lengthwise on oven racks and bake for 1 hour, turning over after 30 minutes.  Undercooked seitan will be gummy and rubbery in the middle so take it out after an hour, cut it in half and take a taste-test piece or just touch it with your finger. 

Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. You do do not need to unwrap them from their aluminum foil prisons to store them in your fridge.  If you want to thinly slice them you will need to do this before placing them in the refridgerator.  Refridgerating them makes it impossible to thinly slice.  I have only had success using my food processor when attempting to make a thin slice.  Anything manual just crumbles the seitan.  My friend thinks a mandolin will work but I have been too thrifty to purchase yet another cutting tool.

The crust for this pizza came from Whole Grain Breads by Peter Reinhart.  It is one of the best whole wheat pizza crusts I have ever used.  Normally whole wheat pizza dough is too sticky, but this recipe produced a crust that was easy to work with.  It had great gluten structure without having to add vital wheat gluten.  I was even able to throw the pizza.  Oh, how I love to throw pizza into the air and catch it again.

Toppings on pizza: 

Half can of tomato paste (I didn’t add spices to the sauce because most of the flavor of the pizza will come from the cheese and the pepperoni)
Spinach
Chopped tomato
Mushroom
Provolone
Mozzarella
Shredded Parmesan
Seitan pepperoni

I pre-baked my crust for two minutes at 550F and then baked for another nine minutes with all of the toppings.

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