Vegan

Come up to the Lab Pt. 2

Get thee behind me Seitan!…

Welcome back Class…are you chewing Smith? I hope you’ve brought enough for everyone!…come on, pass it round…

Soooo here we are back for the second experiment of the day – homemade Seitan!

Now yesterday I mixed up into a dough :

1kg of Strong Wholewheat bread flour

Around 800mls water…

…bloody hell, that’s a work out and a half, no need for resistance training at the gym today (or ever again!)…good to work out any frustration! But it’s done & the gluten is stretched out and ready to go!

Then it was left under cold water overnight…

So when it came to it this morning we had this…

So the instructions are as follows: keep kneading it whilst rinsing it to wash away the starch and bran…simple?…yeah, if you’ve got the strongest fingers and lower arms in the world & after yesterday’s dough work out it was difficult! After lots of draining, sieving and squeezing it started to resemble some sort of alien creature or a brain! (Carly says it’s like the inside of a Dalek…)

So to avoid any vegan based RSI, me and Carly took it turns to “Brainwash”…(ok ok, that’s her line!)…

Once the next ice age had finished, we had a wonderful lump of gluten (Seitan) which we had to keep squeezing the water out of which had the texture of a rubber ball & behaves like those non Newtonian materials that get harder if you hit it…

Now came the fun bit, to get this “round” into a “Flat”…so the first idea was to run it through the pasta maker which I reasoned would squash out the water and flatten the Seitan like a big mangle…perfect!…shame it didn’t work…the rollers just didn’t grip the Seitan and I was running the risk of flattening my fingers as I pushed it through! (“You’ve Been Framed” will have to wait for another accident!)…

So it was back to the ole’ rolling pin – and if I thought that the dough making or the brain squeezing was hard here was another world of pain…Imagine, if you will, trying to squash a bowling ball with an ostrich feather! But through sheer perseverance we managed to roll, stretch and pull it into Flat sheets and then cut out bits that looked like “meat” slices…

These we were going to poach in a mix of soy and Worcester sauce and water…and then fry up to brown before serving…we seasoned and flavoured at this point, but then realised that it would just wash off in the poaching liquor…who knew!?

But, so far so good, it didn’t shrink to nothing or dissolve (yay)…so we did the whole lot – we then tested a bit by frying it after coating it in a bit of Marmite and smoke liquid…very tasty & it looked like meat!…

….but the texture was a bit too squishy and overly yielding…so to drive off more water we baked it in the oven which seems to have worked it’s magic!…now we have slices of “meat” for dinner – just to have them in the gravy and we will be away – yay…success! Sneaky tastes had at this point showed that the squishiness was there but it was definitely more meat like…

Another WIN chalked up here – the plan is to make a lovely gravy and then heat the “meat” through in that and serve…

Time for a sit down & a bit of rest before dinner prep starts!…

Class Dismissed!…

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