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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lazy Dave's $5-bread-machine Turkey-flavored Seitan

Bread machine seitan. Yes, mamawafflin' seitan in the gol-darned bread machine. As in "dump all this stuff into the thing; press button; go away." Yeah. Life is good.

We've been making seitan loaves ever since the revered Seitan o' Greatness grabbed the Net by the tubes a couple years ago. But we're simple former carnivores, so we used animal-flavored recipes instead of the vaguely Middle Eastern, a-scoshe-too-much-cinnamon SoG. "La Dolce Vegan" has some pretty good spice combos that turn ordinary seitan into chicken-, turkey-, beef-, or ham-flavored seitan. To make the "loaf" version, we just moved the spices from the boiling broth into the dough (usually doubling or tripling the spices), rolled the dough up into loaves wrapped in foil, and baked at 325F for 90 minutes. It was a bit of a pain to make, because we always made a ton and you have to turn it every 20-30 minutes to keep one side from getting hard, but the result was worth the work.


The other day, I peeked into the upstairs appliance utopia at Union Gospel Mission in Tigard and saw... a bread machine. A bunch of 'em, actually, with a gleaming, state-of-the-art (10 years ago) Toastmaster, complete with manual/cookbook, for $5. Nineteen quarters, a dime, two nickels, and all five of my pennies made that little sucker mine, all mine. It's now made much bread, acres of pizza crust, hamburger buns, bagels, and baguettes, sparking many ideas in the process.

One of the ideas, as you may guess from the title of this entry, was seitan. And tonight, despite my trepidation that it'd burn, it worked. 

(probably a modified version of the one from "La Dolce Vegan," but maybe a modified version of somebody else's recipe)


Wet stuff (goes first in my machine):
  • 4 t vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg's
  • 1.5 to 2 cups water
Dry stuff
  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten (I use Bob's)
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo flour (Bob's, again)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups nutritional yeast
  • 4 t onion powder
  • 2 t dried sage
  • 2 t dried thyme
  • 2 t salt (I use less)
  • 2 t smoked paprika
  1. Dump the wet stuff into the bowl.
  2. Dump the dry stuff into the bowl.
  3. Push the button, Frank.
My Toastmaster has a cycle called "Basic Medium" (as opposed to "Basic Light" and "Basic Dark"), so I tried that one. Seems to have worked fine. 

The resulting loaf is moist and meaty, with an interestingly crispy (not hard) skin on five faces. Because the bread machine's cycle is set up for bread (mix, let rise, punch down, let rise, punch down, let rise, bake) it lets the dough settle a couple times and then spins it again with the mixing blade. Result: the center of the loaf is stringy in an almost spooky approximation of turkey.

To serve:

Slice it; dice it; tear off a hunk and eat it raw. 

The sliced version makes tasty sandwiches (Wildwood Garlic Aioli and romaine, please) and barbecue (Bone-suckin' Sauce, if it has to come from a jar). 

The diced version makes a chewy, flavorful protein for stir-fry, curry, stew, soup, mac'n'cheese, and doro wat.


  1. I'm too intrigued not to try, so off I go make a batch of this right now.

  2. verdict: totally kickass. both the recipe and your idea.

  3. Wow, Dave, what an awesome idea! I would have never thought to try seitan in a bread machine (got rid of mine years ago). Once again, you are the Seitan Master!

  4. I am, indeed, stunned by your great awesomeatudeinousness...

  5. In the not too distant future, next Sunday A.D.? Thanks for sharing your vegan experiences and experiments. I look forward to learning from your culinary advanced.

  6. This is amazing! I too just got a bread machine for $5 dolla at the local church thrift store. Try making something with buckwheat-it's the shizznizzle.

  7. This is great, Dave, thanks! Perfect for a Sunday family dinner with mushroom gravy, rice pilaf, and a veggie.

    The first time I made it, though, following the recipe, it was very salty (even though I used reduced-sodium soy sauce). So I tweaked it a bit -- hope this helps others. The last time I made it, I used 1/4 cup of Trader Joe's reduced-sodium soy sauce and made up for it with another 1/4 cup of water. I also skipped the added salt entirely. And for "vegan Worcestershire sauce", I've been using the Original HP sauce. Not sure if this is what Dave is referring to, but it's readily available for us at a local store. Maybe it's saltier than the sauce he uses?

    Anyhow, we've made it several times like this and even my daughter, a salt fiend, finds it tasty. Enjoy!