Monday, July 11, 2011
Spicy Hickory Maple Seitan Bacon
Those of you who know me, know my take on faux meats. Aside from a torrid love affair with commercially-made faux chicken nuggets (oh my pretties how I long to smother you in hot sauce), I don't try especially hard to mimic the real thing - I'm more concerned with the experience of food. I miss sausages because my Dad used to cart home pounds of freshly made Hungarian kolbasz and hurka...stuffed in a suitcase for the flight home from Montreal to the Maritimes, I kid you not. It was passed around the table as something special, something we ate together. I miss ground beef because I miss burgers on the grill, not because I long for the flavor of cow. Hey, that`s just me, you do what you want. So when it comes to working with meat alternatives, yes, I do try to mimic the flavor to some extent - but let`s face it, nothing about wheat gluten could fool a carnivore into thinking it`s meat. Enjoy it for what it is; a high-protein, versatile addition to your cooking repertoire. And for those of us vegheads out there, it`s a way to connect with foods and experiences we long to recreate.
Makes a 19 oz loaf, approx 24 slices.
In seperate bowls, mix the following dry ingredients:
red dough white dough
1 cup vital wheat gluten 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1-3 chipotle peppers
(pureed and try to remove seeds)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
Mix together the white dough wet and dry ingredients, and knead for 2-3 minutes. Dust a clean surface with wheat gluten, and roll out the dough. Now do the same for the red dough.
Here's where you get to be creative. Layer the red and white doughs, cut them into pieces if necessary. In the bacon pictured, I alternated 3 layers of red with 2 layers of white. I used the final layer to cover the entire loaf.
Place a sheet of foil on a baking tray, and cover liberally with cooking spray. Place your bacon on the tray, and cover with another sheet of sprayed foil, oiled side facing the bacon. Place a plate or cutting board on top, and carefully balance something heavy on it - I used 2 heavy jars of peanut butter. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.