**UPDATE 10/19/17** Scroll to bottom for update
Before we begin here, let me just say that this is in the early stages of development.
Along the way I might be sharing a motley assortment of recipes (mostly of the faux meat variety) that are in various stages of their development. Feedback is always much appreciated, and ESPECIALLY with these. Think of them as semi-collaborative recipes, and while i may not use all (or any) of your ideas, they’re helpful nonetheless. So chime in! Speak up! Grab some chalk and write it on the slate.
These posts will be picture heavy, they will probably load slow, they will eat your datas, if you don’t have unlimited datas, you’ve been warned.
PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK
The following is an experiment in using live yeast to alter the texture of seitan and reduce the carbohydrates by yeast digestion to produce a more meat like texture.
350g | 2 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten (plus possible extra)
60g | 2/3 cup besan (chickpea flour)
2.5g | 3/4 tsp fauxltry seasoning
5g | 1/2 tsp salt, fine
1g | 1/3 tsp garlic powder (roasted if you have it)
3.5g | 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
4g | 1 3/4 tsp nutritional yeast
6.5g | 1 1/2 tsp live active yeast
3.5g/ml | 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (i used mesquite)
30g | 5 1/4 tsp shiro miso (white/mellow)
410g/ml | 1 3/4 cup water
combine your wet ingredients with the yeasts, stir and set aside for about 10 minutes
combine dry ingredients and whisk together well
stir wet into dry and then knead lightly until it's an even mass
cover and place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour
squeeze dough to deflate some and place in stand mixer and knead for 2 minutes
cover and place in a warm place for 1 hour
squeeze dough to deflate some and place in stand mixer and knead for 5 minutes, now is the time to add more gluten if the dough seems too moist, it should be a pretty firm dough and very elastic
cover and place in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes
squeeze dough to deflate some and place in stand mixer and knead for 2 minutes
from this point on i can only give some general instructions as to what i would do on the next batch
divide dough into whatever portions you want, keep in mind i did eighths and that seeemd to work well, also the vacuum sealed ones easily pulled back apart after cooking, so you should be able to wrap more than one portion together
wrap dough as tightly as possible in several layers of cheese cloth and tie ends with food safe twine, i would probably also tie it across to hold end ties on, this stuff REALLY expands
steam in electric pressure cooker for 45m on high with a natural release (i'm not sure what that would translate to in stovetop steaming, or baking)
after release, immediately remove seitan and unwrap, as soon as it is cool enough to safely handle, place into vacuum container, vacuum until machine stops, wait a minute or so and vacuum again. let it stay VACUUMED for 5 minutes or so release pressure
at this point i'd suggest just submerging it in an oily broth (you could use any chicken-y flavored broth or fauxltry broth powder and a Tbsp or so of oil) and refrigerating.
it seems that when heated the seitan will always return to the original form it was when first removed from the pot, so even compressing it doesn't seem to weaken the gluten structure enough to prevent it from springing back like memory foam
KEEP IN MIND this is still a very VERY early experimental recipe
i'm only releasing this because so many awesome people have asked me to and perhaps together we can crack the code
you can sub poultry seasoning blend for my loverly fauxltry seasoning if you absolutely must...
after mixing by spoon and hand
after the first rise and kneading
after the final rise
after the final rise and kneading
cut into 8 pieces
half vacuum packed, half foil wrapped. i didn’t do the foil too tight as i was afraid of explosion, the vacuum sealer did little to nothing in terms of removing any extra air. i think the vacuum container would work better in the future.
vacuum sealed bag obviously failed me during cooking, though i couldn’t find any actual leak, it did nothing to halt the expansion of the seitan.
the wrapped ones fared better, though one did burst open, the others were fine, definitely more dense right from the start, they should have been wrapped much much tighter, but i’m not sure foil would have held.
these are the same pieces after being vacuumed in the container. i did two vacuums with quick releases, then a third vacuum which i let remain for about 5 minutes before releasing. difference between vacuums was rather minimal and i think only doing the long vacuum would be perfectly fine.
seitan after being “moistified” by vacuuming it in broth (this is really fun to watch btw) unfortunately it only seems to get into the very outside. parts that were torn surfaces were quite juicy and yum though.
close up of said moistified seitan
i divided the batch into two (two pieces from each original batch in each new batch) and vacuumed one batch in broth and refrigerated, the other batch was simply vacuumed in a plain old vac bag. top is the overnight broth, bottom is dry.
the dry ones came out much firmer and drier (duh), the broth ones are much fluffier, softer, and more moist.
when heated they both puff up as they were before vacuuming. *sad face*
the dry ones i feel are the absolute perfect texture (once i soaked them in some broth) for cold chicken-y stuff like chicken salad (which is what i am going to try anyway)
i have a lot of ideas and notes on ways to streamline the process and fix the errors/results i’m not happy with.
however, it’s still pretty dang amazing!!
what i’m happy with:
flavor is amazing, the chewiness is good, it is a tad dry and a little too firm cold, but i seem to remember meat being that way too….room temp it’s insanely fantastic, good pull, nice tooth feel, good bite, everything….then warm it’s a TAD soft, still has some nice pull
what i’m not happy with:
the insane puff! but that’s gonna take some time to figure out, i may try searing and/or baking, definitely going to wrap it up super tight in cheesecloth (which should better allow some of the air pressure to escape from inside the seitan and keep it from expanding like insulation foam), it’s a TAD on the dry side, it soak up broth really well once torn, but for full slabs, it won’t absorb anything. mostly that can be corrected in the original mixing and incorporating oil into the mix (which i didn’t do the first two time to try and keep things relatively “simple” and oil affects gluten development and yeast) that’s it really….i feel like the mouth feel is pretty close to where i’d like it, but it def needs to be less airy.
stay tuned for the next installment (which will probably be next week and probably not fauxltry flavored lol, though….who knows?
So the version that i originally posted was in actuality, version 2.0, since then i have done v 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0.
swapped cooked chickpeas and their liquid (aquafaba) for part of the water, altered the rise/knead schedule (knead just to combine, rise 90 minutes, knead 2 minutes, rise 90 minutes, knead 2 minutes, rise/rest 30, punch down and knead just to deflate) and eliminated the vacuum sealing. This combined to result in a softer product that just wasn’t up to snuff at all.
also used the cooked chickpeas+liquid, calculated the amount of fat to add in order to attain a level close to that of cooked lean chicken and added to the liquid phase while blending. kneaded just to combine, allowed to rise 90 minutes, used a food processor with a metal blade to “knead” or degas the dough, done for 15 seconds, then moved dough around/pressed together, repeated 2 more times, formed back into ball and let rise for 90 minutes, repeated food processor “kneading” the same way again, allowed to rest for 30 minutes, run through processor again. The dough was then wrapped tightly in cheesecloth, then heavy duty foil, this was in an attempt to keep the dough from exploding during cooking as it had already done with both several layers of regular and several layers of heavy duty aluminum foils. It still exploded, quite dramatically actually and i had a heck of a time getting the IP lid off LOL. It also basically fused with the cheesecloth, making it quite a task to separate them. This resulted in a very stringy texture that was incredibly chicken-like, especially when cold, when warmed however, while it did not puff up and rise, it became very very soft. This was vacuum sealed and placed in the fridge for two days before i did anything else with it. I tried baking it to firm it up and dry it out, that didn’t work. In a stroke of madness and frustration, i threw pieces into the deep fryer…..it worked….they were insanely delicious and so incredibly close to chicken it was weird. But, still not quite close enough.
made the same as previous batch in regards to ingredients and rise/knead, with the addition of an extra 50g of gluten at the final knead. This produced a very tough and stringy dough. This was then divided into two portions, one was baked at 325F for 30 minutes totally naked on a tray, then poked holes in it with a fork and flattened immediately. The other was torn into chunks of various sizes and deep fried at 325F until light-medium brown in color, then flattened immediately after removing from oil. Both puffed up a crazy amount during cooking and formed crackly exteriors. both flattened very well while hot. They were both allowed to cool to around 140, then vacuum sealed and refrigerated over night. The next day they were both formed into logs, rolled in heavy duty aluminum foil, and cooked in the IP on high pressure for 45 minutes. Neither one expanded, neither one exploded, they were very dense and firm straight from the pot. They were allowed to cool at room temp and then placed in the fridge. I pulled it out tonight to sample….the baked one is quite dense, and on the dry side, i definitely think i went overboard in my rolling it super tight. the fried one(s) are also on the dense side, but softer, more moist, and very very meat like. They both have some resistance when biting that quickly gives, no stringy bits, they break down easily, but not too quickly in the mouth….I felt a little weird eating it, as though it was something i should not be having, kind of freaked me out a little. Definitely on the right track. Next time i plan on repeating both the baking and the frying, though i’m going to fry it in larger chunks. I will increase the fat in the baked version and forego adding the extra gluten to it. Also, i won’t be wrapping them super tight as i did before, and i will probably be using muslin to wrap them instead of the foil, since it is reusable and the look of the foil after pressure cooking kind of freaks me out.
So far i’m very happy with the results, they’ve all been perfectly edible, and quite tasty, they are definitely very different in texture from any other seitan i’ve tasted (homemade or not) and they don’t actually require much active time since the yeast does most of the work and the processor does the degassing quickly. New pictures will accompany V 6.0 as i feel they will be significantly different from the originals and warrant a full picture update as well.