Seitan Log

Here’s a recipe somebody gave me once for a home made seitan log. I must admit, its not like most of the other seitan I’ve had…its really pretty different. If the recipe didn’t say ‘seitan’ I probably wouldn’t call it that.

Anyways, it can turn out really tasty. One of my favorite parts to this recipe is how easy it is to modify! We made lots of these logs, trying all sorts of varieties in ingredients. Its very easy to make.

A note, pay attention to the line ‘Wrap it very tightly in silver foil’. How tightly you wrap it seems to directly impact how dense your log is. Its nice to have it dense, but we also found the less dense logs worked better for some applications.

Seitan Logs
from Joanne Stepaniuk’s Vegan Vittles (ISBN 1-57067-025-0)

A basic seitan log from instant gluten that you can use to make a ton of different things. I include a couple ideas here for deli slices as well as some stocks & flavourings, which you can use to make the seitan very distinct with.

Dry Ingredients

1 1/2 cups instant gluten powder (vital wheat gluten)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (available at health food stores & places like trader joe’s)

Liquid Ingredients

3/4 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp tomato paste or a good strong squirt of ketchup

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

  2. Place the gluten flour & nutritional yeast flakes (and salami or pepperoni seasonings if you’re using them) into a bowl, and stir them together.

  3. Place the liquid ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk them together. Pour this into the dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly. If there is still flour around the edges, add a small amount of additional water (1-2 tbsp only). You should now have a large, firm spongy mass in the bowl. This is raw gluten.

  4. Knead the gluten directly in the bowl for a minute or so, just to blend. Don’t add any more flour.

  5. Form this gluten mass into one smooth log (about 6-8 inches long) by rolling it and mooshing it as best you can. Wrap it very tightly in silver foil, two layers worth, twisting and folding the ends tightly, and placing it on a baking sheet. If you don’t wish to have silver foil touching your food, wrap it in parchment paper (not wax paper) before wrapping it in the foil.

  6. Bake for 70 minutes. Your raw gluten has now turned into cooked seitan. Remove from oven, carefully unwrap the seitan log from the silver foil, and transfer it to a wire rack for cooling. When thoroughly cool, wrap it up & chill for several hours before eating if you’ve made deli slices, or slice it up and start seasoning it for your dish.

Yield: About 8-10 servings of deli slices, or about 2 pounds worth of sliced/cubed/ground seitan for use in any number of dishes. I find that half a log of this seitan will grind/slice/cube up into enough seitan to feed 3 people for a couple days depending on what I put it in, a bit less if I use the seitan as the basis of a dish, a bit more if it’s just something in a big pot of chili.

Salami & Pepperoni Seasonings: 1 Tbsp paprika, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, 1/4 tsp onion granules, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Pastrami Seasonings: 2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp ground allspice (and, to be really cool, you can roll this whole log in whole or half cracked pepper before baking to give it that crunchy peppery outside that pastrami has sometimes).