Total Calories: 104
Yield: 1 1/2 to 2 cups
1. Pour the water into a large bowl. Add about 3 cups of flour and beat with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes. Gradually add more flour until the dough becomes too stiff to stir and has the texture of soft sticky clay.
2. Turn out the dough onto a generously floured surface and knead in enough flour until it becomes firm and nonsticky. (See page 56 for kneading instructions.) Vigorously knead the dough for 20 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. If kneading becomes too difficult, try pounding the dough with a rolling pin or your fists.
3. To test if the dough has been kneaded enough, break off a small piece and wash it in a bowl of room-temperature water. If it is sufficiently kneaded, the starch will wash away and leave the elastic gluten, which will look like a piece of chewed gum.
4. Now it’s time to wash (rinse) the dough. Place a large bowl in the sink and fill it with room-temperature water (you can use the same bowl you used to mix the dough). Place the dough in the bowl and work it by rubbing and squeezing it with your hands. The dough will probably fall apart, but it will come back together when clean water is added (in the next step).
5. When the water becomes very cloudy, pour it (along with the dough) through a wire strainer. If you want to save the starch water and reserve it for another use, place an empty bowl under the strainer to catch it. Add fresh water to the bowl and repeat the squeezing and rinsing process three or four times. (Don’t go crazy trying to make the water run perfectly clear.) The dough will resemble a large elastic wad of chewing gum when it’s done.
6. The raw gluten is now ready to shape, season, and cook.
If you don’t have the time (or desire) to make raw gluten from whole wheat flour, there is a quicker method—using vital wheat gluten instead of flour. This method is both faster and easier. No rinsing is required and kneading time is minimal—only 5 minutes. Mixing 2 cups of vital wheat gluten with 2 cups of water will yield about 3 cups of raw gluten.
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