Seitan Bacon

For whenever bacon is needed

plant-based, vegan Double bacon cheeseburger by Doug McNish

I think that society’s obsession with bacon mainly stems from its crisp texture and a balance of sweet, salty, and smoky flavours that makes us salivate. Trick your taste buds and soothe your soul with my version of plant-based bacon made with vital wheat gluten flour. 

Makes 25 to 30 bacon slices


Seitan (Bacon) Dough

  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • 1 cup water
  • ¹⁄₃ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup chopped firm or extra-firm vacuum-packed tofu
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste

Smoky Broth

  • 1 cup water
  • ¹⁄4 cup maple syrup
  • ¹⁄4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • ¹⁄4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. liquid smoke


  • ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • Vegetable oil, for cooking


  1. Make the seitan dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the wheat gluten flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and onion powder.
  2. In a blender, combine the water, nutritional yeast, tofu, vegetable oil, maple syrup, tamari, liquid smoke, and tomato paste. Blend until smooth.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Pour the water mixture into the well of the flour mixture. Using your hands, mix together until well combined and it comes together as a dough. You do not want to see any dry patches of the flour left. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead it for 3-4 minutes to give it a firmer consistency. By kneading it, you are working to develop the gluten and make the dough firm enough that it holds together while cooking.
  4. Shape the dough so it is about 6 inches (15 cm) long, 3 inches (8 cm) wide, and
    1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 11 x 7-inch baking dish with foil, leaving an extra 3 inches (8 cm) of foil on each side. You will be cooking the seitan in a foil package and you do not want the steam to escape, so it is important to have enough foil to close all sides tightly.
  6. Make the smoky broth: In a blender, combine the water, maple syrup,
    tamari, vegetable oil, and liquid smoke. Blend until smooth.
  7. Place the seitan in the middle of the foil and gather the sides to create a pouch.
    Pour the smoky broth over the seitan, making sure not to let any of the liquid
    spill out of the foil. Gather the foil and make an airtight package. Bake until the
    seitan is firm to the touch, about 60 minutes. You do not want it to be soft or have
    the texture of dough at this point. If it is a little soft, tighten the foil again and
    continue baking for another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it
    to cool enough to handle, about 1 hour.
  8. Make the marinade: In a blender, combine the tamari, maple syrup, vegetable oil, water, and liquid smoke. Blend until smooth.
  9. Using a sharp knife, slice the bacon into 25-30 thin strips. Pour the marinade over the bacon, turning it to coat all sides.
  10. In a large frying pan, preferably non-stick, heat enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan over medium heat. Cook the bacon until golden brown and crisp on the bottom, 4-5 minutes. Turn and cook until golden brown on the other side, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

Nutritional facts per serving
Calories 75; protein 8 g; fat 3 g; carbs 5 g.

Photo by Nicole Axworthy

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