How to Make Seitan

This guide will teach you how to make seitan from scratch. Seitan, which was invented by Buddhist monks in China, is a popular source of vegetarian protein.

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Gather 2 pounds of organic unbleached white flour and 2 pounds of organic whole wheat bread flour.

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Combine the flours in a bowl.

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Whisk the flours together so it's evenly distributed.

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Add 6 cups of cold water to the flour mixture.

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Use your hands to mix together the water and the flour. You're done when the water has been thoroughly absorbed.

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Put half of the flour & water mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on medium for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Alternatively, hand knead for 150 strokes.

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The dough will be in a nice smooth ball when done.

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Mix the second batch of dough.

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Return all of the dough to a mixing bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for 30 minutes. You can use this time to assemble the ingredients for the stock.

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Gather your ingredients for the stock: celery, carrots, ginger, garlic, thyme, bay leaves onions, peppercorns and tamari.

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Grab a very large (8 to 10 quart) stockpot. Add 1 pound of onions quartered

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Add four cloves of garlic, halved.

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Add two stalks of celery halved lengthwise.

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Add three carrots halved lengthwise.

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Add three sprigs of thyme.

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Add eight pieces of quarter sized slices of ginger.

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Add 2 bay leaves and 12 peppercorns.

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Add 1 cup of tamari.

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Add a gallon of water. You're done preparing the stock you'll be cooking the seitan in.

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Remove the dough from the warm water bath. Place in a colander. The dough will be pretty sticky. As you can see, my wife struggled to get it out of the bowl!

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Place the colander into the large, empty bowl. This is what it should look like.

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Fill the bowl with cold water.

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Knead the dough for 5 minutes.

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Drain the water, and then fill it up again, with cold water. You are going to do 2 more rounds of kneading in cold water.

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Round two of cold water kneading. You will notice that the water is becoming thick with bits of bran.

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At this point, the dough mixture has reduced in size by about 50 percent.

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Drain the water, and then fill it up again, with cold water. You are going to follow this by doing 1 more round of kneading in cold water.

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Round three of cold water kneading. Knead the dough for 5 minutes.

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Drain the water.

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Notice how much smaller the dough is now. The texture is much firmer then it was 15 minutes ago. It's also less sticky so much easier to work with.

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Fill the bowl with hot water and knead the dough until the water becomes clear. This should take about 5 minutes.

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Dump the liquid and rinse the dough in cold water for 5 minutes.


You're now left with the glutinous part of the wheat, the protein. All the starch and 90% of the bran has been washed away!

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Divide the gluten into two equal size balls and then add them into the stockpot.

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With the gluten added to the stockpot, simmer for two hours

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After about an hour, it should look like this.

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After about 2 hours of cooking the seitan is ready. Store it in the fridge in the stock you cooked it in. It will taste best if eaten within 3-4 days. Or, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.

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