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

by Lazy Dave on March 15, 2009

Bread machine seitan. As in “dump all this stuff into the thing; press button; go away.” Yeah. Life is good.

I’ve been baking seitan loaves since the revered Seitan o’ Greatness grabbed the Net by the tubes a couple years ago. I wasn’t a fan of that loaf’s flavor, but I knew Sarah Kramer’s must-have recipe book “La Dolce Vegan” had some amazing recipes for chicken-, turkey-, beef-, and ham-flavored boiled seitan. To make the “loaf” versions, I just moved the spices from the boiling broth into the dough (after some trial and error I usually ended up doubling or tripling the spices), rolled the dough up into loaves wrapped in foil, and baked at 325F for 90 minutes. It is a bit of a pain to make, not only because of all the kneading but also because I always make several loaves and you have to turn each loaf every 20-30 minutes to keep the bottom from getting a very hard crust. The result has been worth the work.

Until…

I picked up a bread machine for $5. Every thrift store has at least a couple of these at all times. I got a pretty decent decade-old Toastmaster complete with instructions. [Update: I’ve gone through a few bread machines since I wrote this post. The biggest problem I find with them is rust in the pan, so keep an eye out for that.] It is a natural fit for mixing and baking seitan, cutting out virtually all of the work in mixing and kneading the dough and tending to the seitan as it’s cooking.

Recipe

(the spice mix is a modified version of a recipe from “La Dolce Vegan”)

[UPDATE: This recipe originally called for 1/2 cup soy sauce and 1-2 teaspoons of salt. Readers said it was salty enough with just 1/4 cup of soy sauce, so start there. I prefer it with more soy sauce and a little salt — especially smoked salt — but it’s good with just 1/4 cup of soy sauce.]

Ingredients:
Wet stuff (goes first in my machine):
  • 4 t vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 to 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. It’s worth investing in a good brand of vital wheat gluten.)
  • 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
Method:
  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.

To serve:

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

I’ve served the sliced version with stuffing and gravy, of course. It also makes tasty sandwiches and barbecue.

The diced version makes a chewy, flavorful protein for stir-fry, curry, stew, soup, mac’n’cheese, salads (find yourself missing after-Thanksgiving turkey salad sandwiches?), and everything else.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

havecakewilltravel March 15, 2009 at 2:47 am

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

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havecakewilltravel March 15, 2009 at 6:57 am

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

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Sherri - PDX Yogini March 15, 2009 at 10:23 am

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!

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Zen Trixter March 15, 2009 at 11:20 pm

I am, indeed, stunned by your great awesomeatudeinousness…

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Charles Scheidecker June 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm

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.

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TC March 31, 2010 at 2:59 pm

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.

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Pat Burdell November 17, 2010 at 9:28 am

Question: What size loaf did you set on your Toastmaster?
Pat

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Dave November 18, 2010 at 3:30 am

Mine’s pretty basic, so I don’t even think I have that option. But this method does tend to need a little more baking time to get the center of the seitan done, so I’d go with the largest size you can.

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Jacqui Applebee December 20, 2010 at 3:24 am

“Push the button, Frank!”

From a fellow MST3K fan, thank you so much for this recipe!

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Dave December 26, 2010 at 3:15 am

I’m very pleased that a couple people recognized that. 🙂

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Roy March 8, 2011 at 11:32 am

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!

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Ricky November 30, 2011 at 10:34 am

Hi Dave, Thanks for the recipe! A friend recently sold me her bread maker, and I tried out your seitan recipe. I concur with Roy on leaving out the added salt and cutting the soy sauce to 1/4 cup. It tastes fantastic! Thanks again.

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Dave November 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm

Glad you liked it, Ricky! Your comment reminds me that I haven’t dusted off the bread machine in a while, so maybe I’ll fire up a batch tonight.

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Shanon November 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Hey! Thanks for the recipe. I made a mushroom, red wine gravy to top it off; that was tasty!!

I also reduced the soy sauce to 1/4 cup and eliminated salt. I will reduce the soy sauce even more next time, it is plenty salty enough.

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Kelby December 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Super excited! I just got a fancy bread machine for xmas, and the first thing I thout was, “SEI TAN!!!”

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sherri December 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Awesome! I hope you have lots of fun with it.

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Shu-yi May 14, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Totally delicious! I skipped the Worceste shire sauce and used only 0.25 cup of soy sauce and in a shorter cycle (3 hours total); It was amazing as vegan lunchmeat in the sandwich. I really appreciate your post!

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sherri May 14, 2013 at 9:22 pm

So happy to see that people are still finding, experimenting, and getting good ideas from this post!

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Carolina June 4, 2013 at 8:54 am

This is our go-to seitan recipe (with the changes others mentioned). It’s far better than any other home made seitan, bar none. Thank you!!!

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