Vegan bacon

Seitan is a powerhouse of protein. It’s 75% protein and cholesterol free. There are many ways to prepare it and it’s much cheaper to make it yourself than to buy it. 

The great thing with products like seitan, tofu, and tempeh is that you are tasting the spices which you have full control over! So, it is fairly easy to mimic the smokey, salty, sweet that people associate with meat products. Plus it’s just fun to experiment and get creative with seasoning. Am I making this because I miss meat? No. It’s been nearly 20 years since I’ve tasted animal. I just like the challenge of recipe creation and this recipe is one I’ve been making for a decade now. It’s simply good and you get to play with the dough.

In order to make this recipe “look” like bacon you will need to make two separate seitan doughs. Do you need to? Naw. It’s just fun and it adds color variety to make it more interesting.

*Tip for using wheat gluten in cooking. Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately first. Once you get the gluten wet it’s impossible to add more wet because it binds quickly. 

Red Dough:

  • 1 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1/4 cup Soy Flour
  • 2 Tbl Nut. Yeast
  • 2 Tbl paprika (Hungarian is best and adds the most color)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3 Tbl soy sauce
  • 3 Tbl maple syrup
  • 1 Tbl red miso (can omit)
  • 1 Tbl tomato paste (also adds to the red color)
  • 1 tsp Liquid Smoke

White Dough:

  • 1/2 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 2 Tbl chickpea flour
  • 1 Tbl Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 tsp canola oil (can omit)

Break the red dough into 4 pieces and the white dough into 3-4 pieces. Flatten each piece and layer alternating colors. This is your time to be creative. Once you have a big block of dough lay it on an oiled cutting board. Place another cutting board/saran wrap on top. Press your dough for at least 30 minutes. This also alows the gluten to relax. 

After your dough has been pressed bake the whole “loaf” at 300F for 45 minutes. Your seitan will be a bit undercooked but this is what you want. It makes it easier to slice and it will pan-fry better.

Grill It!

*I like to go a step further and grill mine after I’ve baked it. Brush on a glaze of maple syrup, soy sauce, and onion powder for a real flavor bomb! Crank your grill up high, oil it, slap that whole bacon loaf on to get a good scorch, then start glazing. Turn the heat down after the initial sear. I’ve even thrown some smoking chips on my grill for a 45-60 min smoking. As long as you keep brushing on that glaze your “bacon” won’t dry out.

If you’re looking to grill but you’re like me and live in the cold Midwest you should try out the GoWise Electric Indoor Smokeless Grill. Worked great for this batch! This glaze really tested out the claim it’s smokeless. And they are right! No smoke. Magic!

After you slice it store it in ziploc bags or vacuum seal it. Seitan freezes well too. To prepare for a meal you can chop it up into bits of lightly fry to get it crisp. This won’t behave just like bacon, but it’ll add some new flavors and flair to your non-meat menu.

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