You want to make this at home?

By Lucia August 2, 2010

Tony, I think you have some competition in the kitchen. Sara is one of our regulars. One day she said she was going to make seitan at home. I thought…Good luck!

Seitan is one of the most labor-intensive things we make. We knead wheat gluten and barbecue broth into something like a loaf of bread. We cut the dough into thin slices, and simmer them for an hour or longer in barbecue sauce. Then on the truck we bake the seitan with the cheddar and caramelized onions.

I told Sara the ingredients to buy (wheat gluten, the exact barbecue spices from Christina’s spice shop) and gave her some really detailed instructions on a paper bag.

Actually, it took two paper bags. There were some drawings. There were also some warnings…

Like when you’re mixing the wheat gluten with the barbecue broth you have to mix really, really fast, and then form it into a loaf really, really fast, or else, you end up with a crumbly mess, and not a loaf you can slice. And the water: wheat gluten:spices:salt ratio has to be right. And when you simmer the seitan in the barbecue broth you really can’t simmer it for too long, but if you undercook it you’ll get slices that are way too thick.

So after all this, I was really proud when a few days later, Sara came by with a slice of homemade barbecue seitan. It looked great. Thin, held together well, right amount of spice. We even put it in a pita, tested it side by side with Clover’s, and we couldn’t tell the difference. Great job, Sara!

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