There are some wonderful brands of commercial seitan. One that I particularly love it Ray's Wheat Meat, which has the consistency of pulled chicken and a savory, bready flavor. Almost all homemade seitan that I've had or made has an off-note that is completely absent in the best commercial seitans. It's hard to describe this off note--sort of a chemical harshness that arises in the back of the mouth. This note can also be detected in some commercial seitan products, such as Field Roast sausages, although it is much weaker than in the homemade versions.
When I make seitan, I start with just vital wheat gluten and water. I knead them together for several minutes, let it rest for 20-30 minutes, and then simmer in water before preparing in other ways. The seitan looks good and often has a wonderful texture, but I just hate that flavor that looms up. I have tried adding kombu, dulce, soy sauce, nutritional yeast flakes, parmesan--no dice.
As a lower priority, how does one make seitan with the consistency of pulled chicken? Basically, how do I make Ray's Wheat Meat without buying it?
PS: I did see the one other post about "horrible" seitan, but it doesn't really address this flavor issue.