Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wheat Meat Class

So, last night we had a great class on how to make gluten out of wheat, or "wheat meat." Gluten is a part of the wheat that is mostly protein. It is a very healthy alternative to meat and our bodies can digest it very easily (unless you are gluten intolerant). Here is what we did:

First, you start out making a dough with whole wheat flour and water. I made a large batch 7 cups of water and 12-15 cups of flour. Mix and then set aside for 20 minutes. (If you will not be getting back to it for longer than 20 minutes, refrigerate).

Here is what my dough looked like:

Next is the rinsing process. I split the dough into small balls for the class so everyone could experience making their own gluten. Doing it myself, I would split the dough into sizes slightly larger than a softball. You need a large bowl filled with room temperature water. Then start kneading your dough ball in the water. Aren't these ladies doing a great job? :)

The dough will pretty much fall completely apart, get stringy, and then start to stick together again. This is the gluten. Once you have a small ball of gluten, the rest will start to cling to it. The bowl of water will be left with bran and starch from the wheat. Good job gals!

This is what your water will look like afterwards. White with bits of bran on the bottom. There is so much you can do with this water! Save it in a glass jar and put it in the fridge. Add the water to just about anything, and you can scoop off the starch for soups, thickenings and other stuff. You can use the bran to make cereal, muffins, cakes, and tons more. That will have to be another post.

Once you have your ball of gluten, take it back to the sink and rinse it off a little more under room temperature water. This is what it looks like when you are done:

Now you have a couple choices of how to cook it. You can steam it. This is my homemade steamer--just a stock pot with a metal colander. Just place your gluten pieces in the steamer for about 30 minutes. I turn them over after 15 minutes.

This is what they look like after they have been steamed:

My favorite thing to do with them is to ground them up. You can use either a food processor or a blender to easily grind up the gluten to look like ground beef.

It makes a great meat extender, or you can just eat it by itself. I made taco meat out of the ground gluten and didn't add any real meat at all. It tasted great!

Another cooking method is to simmer and bake. This is the raw gluten (straight from being rinsed). I rolled it out and cut it into strips.

Then I simmered some in chicken broth and some in beef broth. There are some great seasoning mixture recipes in "The Amazing Wheat Book" by LeArta Moulton. It really is an amazing book. I am looking into make a bulk order of it to get it cheaper, so if you are interested, let me know.

After simmering the gluten (and it absorbes the liquid really fast!) spread it out on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 30-60 minutes--until texture is chewy. Turn them over a few times while baking. You can also stick them in your dehydrator. They turn out kind of like jerky.

This really is just a small start as to what you can do to with wheat and gluten. You can make large batches of gluten and prepare it how you would like and it will keep in the freezer. I hope this insipires you!

1 comment:

  1. I did this once and I forgot the rinsing wasn't so good. I need to try it again.