Advice re vital wheat gluten et al

bobloes

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Hi All

I am not a vegan but my granddaughter is a vegetarian and I am trying to help her. I have found a vegan recipe for sausages (listed as world's best) but I need some advice as my gdaughter does not like tofu and hence what I think are the ingredients for seitan(?) are much the same. Anyway this is the recipe:

Wet Ingredients:

120g (c.½ cup) cooked white beans
200ml (c.¾ cup + 1 tbsp) vegetable stock
80ml (⅓ cup) aquafaba (from the cooked beans)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp coconut aminos
1 tsp liquid smoke

Dry Ingredients:

150g (c.1¼ cups) vital wheat gluten
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp buckwheat flour
2 tbsp dried onion flakes
15g (c.2 tbsp) pork sausage seasoning

My guess is that the vital wheat gluten (VWG) when mixed with the flour (and of course the moisture in the rest of the mix) is the binding agent and, primarily, gives the sausage its texture. If that is correct then does it mean that I can change the texture by reducing the VWG? Continuing that idea if I left it out altogether would the sausage still bind and remain 'solid'. Feel free to blow a big raspberry if this is so much junk. Thanks.

Bob
 

Forest Nymph

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No. Vital wheat gluten is a protein and is often the main ingredient in these sorts of recipes. VWG is often called "wheat meat" because it provides such a hearty texture and so much protein, without a bean-y taste (some people think tofu tastes beany, I for one do not, but whatevs). VWG is used in Tofurky roasts, and is a key ingredient in things like homemade vegan"chicken fried" steaks.

It's not a binding agent. I mean I guess it might also have that property because it's sticky, but it's more critical to the recipe than what you presume, in both taste, texture and protein.
 

amberfunk

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If you want to change the texture I would advise trying the recipe first to see what the texture is like. Vital wheat gluten doesn't have the same texture as tofu. I usually add some garbanzo bean flour by the tablespoon to some of my recipes. The amount of kneading also changes the texture. I suggest using a potato hand masher to essentially beat the vital wheat gluten a little. It does make it more tender weirdly enough.
 
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Nicky

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vwg is the most important ingredient in seitan, though different recipes have different gluten:flour ratios. I agree with Amber that you should try the recipe first, without it I think it'll turn out like a weird, dense loaf of bread! Although the gluten seems quite expensive at the time of purchase, it goes a long way and is very reasonable per portion, especially compared to meat or ready-made veg options.

There are definitely more basic seitan recipes out there (I think liquid smoke is quite expensive), without so many ingredients. Nutritional yeast is a lovely seasoning that will give it a savoury flavour, so I would definitely keep that in, though I suppose you could try adding some stock powder to the wet mix.
 
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bobloes

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Thanks very much to all who have replied. I had possibly come to that concluysion re try it first but always nice to have other, more experienced people also suggesting it. I shall let you know how I get on. Thanks again.