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I’ve been intrigued with the idea of trying out a seitan (aka wheat meat) styled “roast” ever since my wheat meat post last spring. So when I saw this recipe from Susan Voisen, which looked so amazingly good, I knew I had to try it! Her seitan recipe (using powdered vital wheat gluten) is so much simpler to make than my last go at it, and the results are remarkably delicious. I can easily imagine ordering this “un-meat” at a vegan restaurant and loving it, even including the food storage substitutions! My mother in law enjoys eating at those kind of places so I’m definitely going to have to make this dish for her at some point, I think she’ll really like it.
I did change up the stuffing recipe, I liked the idea of using wild rice rather than bread, but you can fiddle with the stuffing and make it the way you prefer. For our own family I still have some fine tuning to do since the seitan recipe itself calls for a cup of beans which unfortunately one of our kids is allergic to. However, since the majority of you out there don’t have to worry about that I’m sharing it with you ahead of my own “bean-less” version.
3/4 cup hot water
!/2 cup Freeze Dried Onion Flakes (or 1/2 large onion, chopped)
1/2 cup Freeze Dried Celery Pieces (or 1/2 cup celery, chopped)
1 (4.5 oz) jar mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. sage
generous grinding of pepper
1 1/2 cup wild rice (*I made mine using broth and added some seasonings)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 tsp. whole chia seeds or ground flax seed
1 TBS soy sauce
2 cups Vital Wheat Gluten (10 oz) (*see notes)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup quinoa flakes (*see note)
1 tsp chia seed or ground flax seed
1 1/2 cup broth (your choice, I’m not a vegetarian purist so I used chicken)
1 cup great northern beans, cooked (or 1 cup canned beans)
2 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS tahini (preferred) or other nut butter
1 cup broth
2 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil (optional)
Tools and Supplies
A perforated double french bread pan — this allows the roulade to hold it’s shape but is not absolutely necessary. You can visit Susan’s original post to see her’s which was made without it and the way she did it. (*see notes for buying details)
plastic wrap (or either parchment paper or waxed paper) for rolling the dough
baby food grinder (*see notes)
Make the stuffing
Rehydrate both the onion and celery using the 3/4 cup hot water. In a skillet add the onion, celery (and remaining water), mushrooms, thyme, sage and a generous grating of black pepper just until combined. Add the remaining ingredients. You want the stuffing to be moistened but not soaking wet. I found that the extra water from the vegetables was just enough but if you are making it with fresh vegetables you may need to add some extra water or broth. Remove from heat and keep covered.
Making the seitan:
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (vital wheat gluten through chia seeds). Place the 1 1/2 cups of broth, white beans and soy sauce in the blender and process until liquified. If making without a blender (without electricity), grind the beans into a puree using a baby food grinder (or other small grinder), then combine with liquid ingredients, including tahini. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the bean mixture, and stir until gluten is completely moistened (*see note). Knead the dough until it holds together in a ball. Set aside while you make the broth.
Make the broth:
Heat all ingredients until hot but not boiling.
Assembly and Baking:
Preheat oven to 400. Completely immerse the cheesecloth in the broth. Line your work surface with two overlapped lengths of plastic wrap, parchment paper or waxed paper. Place the dough in the center, cover it with another layer of two overlapped lengths of plastic wrap and roll out the seitan, making sure that it’s the same thickness in all places, until it’s about 9 x 13. Spread the stuffing evenly overtop, leaving a 1-inch margin on all sides. Lift up the plastic wrap on one of the long edges and roll the seitan up like a jelly roll. Pinch the ends sealed first and then pinch well to seal the long seam.
Place the french bread pan on a jelly roll pan. Line one side of the french bread pan with foil and lay the drenched cheesecloth over top of the foil. Carefully transfer the seitan roll on to the cheesecloth and wrap it, tucking the ends underneath. Pour a little more of the broth on to the top of the roll before wrapping the foil around it and sealing it closed. Reserve at least 1/2 cup of broth for basting later on.
Bake for 60 minutes. If the foil bursts open at the top while cooking just be sure to keep the cheese cloth moistened with broth as to avoid any kind of fire hazard. Seitan is done when top seems firm and brown. You can test it by cutting a small slit in the middle to check for any doughy-ness.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. When ready to unwrap the cheese cloth, keep some extra broth on hand for any areas which seem to “stick”. By basting with broth these areas will easily loosen.
Baste as desired with remaining broth and transfer carefully to a serving platter. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and serve.
Making the stuffing…
Making the seitan…
Rolling the roulade…
Preparing to bake…
Bake the seitan for 60 minutes. If you see it bursting open (as mine did here) add some broth to be sure to keep it moist.
When it’s firm to the touch (and browned) you can be pretty sure it’s done. Test it for doughy-ness if you have any questions. Begin unwrapping it, using broth as needed to loosen any areas of cheese cloth that are stuck to the seitan. If you like you can put it back into the oven on it’s own to brown some more but be careful that you don’t allow it to dry out. Mine was just perfect after the one hour in the oven.
Transfer to a serving plate, baste with broth and garnish with dried rosemary.
Cut into 1/2 inch slices to serve. Delicious!
- “Quinoa flakes” is quinoa which has been steamed and flattened, making it extremely quick to cook. You can use it like oatmeal for a hot cereal as well as in many other recipes.
- If you were without electricity, using a baby food grinder to puree the beans seems to me like the easiest way to do it since it’s just a single cup of beans. Speaking of making this recipe without electricity, I’m determined to try this out in my sun oven. I don’t see any reason why it won’t work, although I won’t be able to use the french bread pan due to it’s size. I’ll update the post after I try it.
- When making up the seitan, I did not need to use all of the liquid this recipe called for. I probably had 1/2 a cup remaining. Add the liquid until it comes together and all is moistened but be careful not to add it all at once, it might be a little too much liquid. The remaining liquid can be used to mix in with the broth for basting before serving.
- About the perforated double french bread pan…I bought mine at Sur La Table (although it doesn’t show up online) but I also found that you can buy it here through Bed Bath and Beyond. My local Bed Bath and Beyond didn’t carry it excepting for online purchases.
- I bought my Vital Wheat Gluten from Grandma’s Country Foods (the same company I buy my dry milk from)