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Seitan Again

All of this talk about  seitan sent me back to the "Joy of Cooking"
cookbook.  It has been an old friend in the past and as I expected it
did not let me down when I searched its worn pages for what it calls
"Gluten Flour."

It talks about it being a starch-free, high-protein flour "made by
washing the starch from had wheat flour.  The residue is then dried and

Well...maybe, but I just cooked mine into what is euphemistically called
wheat meat.  And frankly it isn't bad, especially when sliced thin and
served with warm barbecue sauce.

Their directions seem to be straight-forward enough:

"4 cups of whole-grain or unbleached flour.  Personally I would use only
whole-grain hard wheat for this process.  Then it suggests 1-1/2 to 3
cups of lukewarm water.

"Roll it into a ball and submerge it in water for two hours.  Then,
still keeping the dough ball (the pun possibilities are BEGGING to be
set free, but I'll keep myself in check) work the starch out of it by

"At intevals, pour off the starchy water.  Replace the water you pour
off and continue to knead and pour, knead and pour until the water is
almost clear."

They then contradict themselves about the drying/grinding process by
saying "Form the starch-free dough into a loaf and cut it into 1/2 inch
slices.  Put into a 3-quart pan"...well then they get silly and show a
SAD method of cooking the stuff.

When I do a ready mix I just bring the water to a rolling boil, then
down to a simmer before placing the seitan into the water because I like
a nice dense product.

If you boil the seitan it's been my experience that you wind up with a
nice light outside (similar in texture to a really nice matzo ball ,and
a thinner good-for-slicing interior.  Just allowing the seitan to simmer
for two to three hours gets me the product that I want.

Others prefer to use various traditional broths...

I'm going to go back on my word and try to make make some seitan from
scratch this afternoon.  I'll let you know how it comes out.


Bev Kurtin