Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I tried to make seitan last night using oil and gluten, and after it was done it had a grainy consistency and didn't hold together at all. Is there some sort of magic done by the water? How much water do I need?

share|improve this question
up vote 9 down vote accepted

I've never made seitan, but just like when making bread, gluten needs water to activate. I don't know the precise amount. Oil, if anything, has the opposite effect, coating the gluten molecules and keeping them from linking up, which is why we use fat in pastries to keep them from getting tough.

share|improve this answer

There are four major types of proteins in Wheat: gliadin, glutenin, albumin, and globulin.

What we think of gluten doesn't actually exist in wheat; it develops in flour when it is hydrated with water and gliadin and glutenin proteins bond together to make what we call gluten. So that is the magic. Oil is chemically very different so that is why it was weird.

source: Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.