For breakfast this morning we tried a recently purchased commercial product marketed as a “Vegan Substitute For Pork Bacon.” It was a far cry from a similar product we actually like quite well, but it was okay. I figured I could create something at least as good.
By lunch time I had come up with something we both agreed was as good as the commercial product we had eaten at breakfast, but I made a couple mistakes and wanted to have another go at what I knew was a winning technique.
Over the years I have many times made tasty high-protein seitan using vital wheat gluten. A characteristic I have observed is that when pure gluten is mixed with liquid the dough becomes a rubber-like mass which can be difficult to shape. It is a bit easier to form into desired shapes if mixed in a food processor with gluten being just one of many ingredients. In this case I was wanting to use a mostly gluten mixture to form a very thin sheet which could be cut into strips.
My solution was, instead of mixing the gluten with liquid then trying to reshape it I would apply the liquid to the gluten already in the desired shape. This is how it happened the second time around.
Dry ingredients (as best I remember):
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 3 tablespoons sifted nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons tomato powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
After mixing the dry ingredients I sifted them to the desired thickness onto a silicone mat greased with cooking spray. The edges were straightened up with a bench scraper.
The liquid ingredients were (as best I remember):
- 3/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
- 2 teaspoons homemade Worcestershire sauce (no anchovies)
- 1 teaspoon Black Label habanero hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
I transferred the liquid ingredients into a spray bottle with which the sifted layer of dry ingredients was saturated.
This was baked at 300ºF and checked at 5 minute intervals. At 15 minutes it was ready to *cut and turn over. The other side was then sprayed with the liquid ingredients, baked some more and cut again into strips.
*Important note: Do not cut on silicone mat! Faye doesn’t know yet (until she reads this) that I have ordered her some new silicone mats which will be arriving Saturday.
The strips were turned, resprayed and baked another 5 minutes one or two more times (as best I remember). I won’t say that these gluten strips taste anything like bacon but they are superbly delicious.