To save money I have been trying to make seitan at home, but I'm having problems.
I have been following three recipes but kind of doing a certain recipe method with pieces of another recipe. I know this is bad but I didn't have the yeast so I had to find out how to compensate for that.
Also I have only been baking the seitan since I did not have any sort of vegan broth.
I make the loaf of the gluten by kneading it and then attempt the "stretching and folding" technique. I don't understand what kind of texture to work towards because the past times I have made it no matter what it comes out the same.
Also I don't know how to make them retain a shape. After bacon they come out as shriveled looking peices of bacon. I tried adding some baking powder but then they just turned into beef-flavored buiscuts. I simply cannot get it to be the consistancy or size of store-bought seitan.
If anybody has some tips or can clarify the process for baking the seitan please let me know. Thanks.
OK, did you say that you don't have any yeast? It shouldn't take any yeast.
You're using vital wheat gluten (or vital wheat gluten flour) right? If you use any given recipe, and you use it correctly, and you knead it for a while, you'll be fine!
You say you don't have any vegan broth. That's fine, it can be cooked without any broth. But, usually, the seitan recipe itself calls for broth. I mean, you can use water, but you also want the seitan to taste good, and not too plain. Get some vegan bouillon cubes or, failing that, you can make your own -- I make the recipe for the "chicken" bouillon in the book Vegan Slow Cooker and keep it in my freezer.
If you use a recipe correctly, the texture should be fine. As far as cooking without broth goes, though, you have two good options. You can wrap the seitan in tinfoil and steam it, or you can wrap it in tinfoil and put it into a pot of water and bake it in your oven. I recommend the first choice. Most recipes should be divided into four parts and wrapped in the foil. You can make them a "sausage" shape, or you can make them square, or whatever you want, really.
The first time I made seitan I bombed at it. I tried using freshly ground whole wheat - but I think my wheat wasn't ground fine enough. The second time I used all-purpose flour and followed a recipe I found on youtube.com from the delectableplanet.com user. It worked pretty good. If you don't have access to vital wheat gluten flour - that one works. I finally found out what vital wheat gluten flour is called in my part of the world. Gluten powder - which I think you might be able to find at most Asian markets for half the price of that Bob's red mill stuff.
Good luck to you...