I moved!

I moved! You can find me at my new online home, KaylaPins.com!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Offbeat Basic Ingredients Lab: Make Seitan to Demonstrate Stretchy Gluten

We are working through the basic baking ingredients and today we spent time talking about wheat flour.  Wheat is so crucial to baking because of the stretchy structure of gluten and the thickening power of starch.

To demonstrate the stretchy structure of gluten we made seitan.  None of my students had ever heard of it.  It is a vegetarian meat substitute of gluten simmered in a flavored broth.  The resulting product can be flavored to mimic many meat dishes.
I followed this recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen to make a basic setian recipe using vital wheat gluten. While the seitan simmered my students conducted the Great Balls of Gluten experiment.

Each kitchen gets 1 C of flour and mixes in enough water to make a dough.  After kneading the dough for several minutes the starch is rinsed away. The size of the resulting ball of gluten will tell the students what type of flour was used.
L to R: Cake, pastry, all purpose, bread
I panfried the setian to give it a crispy surface.  I used flour and broth to make a brown gravy which demonstrated starch's thickening abilities.
The seitan cutlets look just like pork chops!
The students were really cautious to try it, but said it "wasn't bad."  A few kids even said it was "kinda good." To be sure, the students will not soon forget gluten's springy, spongy texture.

No comments:

Post a Comment