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 Post subject: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:45 am
Posts: 2
I only recently started making seitan.
I made a veggie lunch meat loaf from VeganDad's website, and that turned out wonderful. But it had beans and was steamed in a "loaf" shape.
Whenever I make "regular" seitan, it ends up being really spongy and soft. How do I get it a little firmer and drier to be more akin to "chicken"?
Some recipes say to boil or simmer for nearly 2 hrs, or until the water is all gone. Other recipes say to simmer for as little as 45 minutes. What does longer cooking time do, how do I get it firmer, and what else should I know to help me be able to adjust the consistency a little?
THANKS!


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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:13 pm 
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ugh
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Location: north of Boston, MA, USA
If you've had good luck with steamed seitan, maybe you should try another recipe using that method? The white seitan recipe from Viva Vegan is chicken-like and steamed instead of boiled.

If you'd like to stick with the boiled kind, do a search! Many others before you have had the same problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:28 pm 
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I had the spongy seitan issue when I boiled it, too. Steaming is the new boiling. You can also try it in your crockpot. The Vegan on the Cheap pot roast makes great lunch meat and is done in the crock pot.

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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:42 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Yep yep, steaming is the way to go.


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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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my seitan always turns out gummy and gross when i just steam it, so i put it in the oven (after boiling it in a pot for about 15 minutes and cutting it into small pieces) and it becomes puffy and crispy and delicious.

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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:10 pm 
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Cranky
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It takes time to get a feel for how much to knead seitan for boiling. The first couple of times I tried, I just didn't knead enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:21 pm 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast
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I've never heard of steaming seitan. If I tried it, how long would I have to steam it?


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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:39 pm 
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For me, crockpot is the way to go. Make any 'simmered' recipe, and cook it in plenty of broth in the crockpot on low for 8 hours. Works like a charm.

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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:48 pm 
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Crockpot or pressure cooker are my fav. I think I may have to make seitan this weekend.. This thread is making me want some.

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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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Don't ever boil seitan. It gets spongy. Low & slow is the way to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:40 pm 
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Saggy Butt

Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:54 pm
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My favorite consistency so far comes from baking in a water bath, but I've never tried the crockpot method.


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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:38 pm 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow
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Yep, crockpot is my favorite too. I've tried simmered stovetop but I can never get it hot enough without boiling accidentally, and it got really spongy. Even that batch, though, I sliced really thinly and browned a lot in a pan and it still made good fajitas.


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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:32 am 
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Banned from Vegan Freaks.
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I was just wondering this question myself...I tried making it for the first time ever last week and mine came out kinda spongy and not chewy at all. I didn't even think of steaming...possibly didn;t knead it enough either, but I felt like I did it for a long time!

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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:42 am 
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I used the seitan recipe that Isa posted on the recipe section of this site--I think its for the "1 lb" of seitan in the recipe section. I have made it several times and it comes out perfect and best of all its EASY! Pretty hard to screw up and easy to adapt to suit your tastes! Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:29 pm 
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Baking In The Flavor
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The answer simply is to that if you cooking seitan on the stove top think poaching. I put my seitan in the broth and put the stove at 1 (or the lowest setting above Low on my stove). Let it sit an hour (untended I should add) and once it floats to the top, its done. I have done this with cutlets that I make from seitan recipe (check out my blog to find it) in a covered fry pan and they came out nice and dense with no sponginess. I only simmered seitan once, and then I realized it was the wrong idea. Just think poach and not simmer and your seitan will be fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:10 pm 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:45 am
Posts: 2
Thanks, everyone for the good advice. I can't say I am anything but more confused, although I appreciate it! I will just keep trying. Most people are saying not to boil, yet all the recipes I find say to boil. It would help if I better understood, thus could predict, how the gluten behaves. I'll keep at it. Will try "poaching" and baking next!


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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:13 pm 
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Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
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Yeah, it's definitely confusing. I know all the recipes say to boil and if you have the water at a super gentle boil you might be ok, but if the water boils too hard you will get spongy, weird seitan. So, the best thing to do is to use a slow cooker or simmer or poach it very gently. Mine doesn't always float to the top because sometimes it's a little too crowded in the pot, but it feels firm to the touch when it's done. It does take practice though. I've tried so many seitan recipes and methods to figure out what I like best, so I'm confident that you'll get it eventually.

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 Post subject: Re: Perfecting Seitan... HELP!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:04 pm 
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Location: Boston-ish
I've had really good luck with wrapping my seitan in cheesecloth before boiling. You just take the dough after kneading and wrap it in cheesecloth. Then tie twine around the whole thing and boil for an hour.

I got the idea from this recipe:

http://www.everydaydish.tv/recipe/vegan-turkey-roast

I've tried the method with other recipes for boiled seitan and the cheesecloth always yields better texture results for me.

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