I Pepperoni Have Eyes For You
This was my first crack at creating a specific type of mock meat and I think it turned out really well :-) I’d like it it be a bit more firm, but I think that can be accomplished with a slightly higher and longer cooking time. All in all, I’m super pleased with this and my weekly home made pizza night will benefit greatly from my experimentation!
I suppose that I’d been reluctant to try something that I felt might be too complicated, or too time consuming, or just too difficult for me to get right. And, to be honest, I didn’t want to fail. I’m ok with something not turning out quite as I’d hoped or perhaps end up not liking something I’ve decided to make, but I didn’t want for something I’d been so excited about to be a miserable failure. I’m happy to report that I think I’ll definitely be making this recipe again!
After refrigerating the pepperoni overnight the flavor seemed even better than on the day of cooking and they were far easier to cut than when the logs were still only cooled down to room temperature. I fried a few slices up in a pan to crisp them a bit and they were amazing! These are going to be truly phenomenal on pizza!
I’ve included the temperature and time that I used but I think you could easily go up 25 degrees and another 15 minutes of cooking time but perhaps you can decide after creating the recipe once at the original time and temp. Now, I know that this seems like LOT of ingredients. Well, it is. But as most are spices—and ones you likely already have—it’s not too time consuming of a recipe. It takes about an hour to prep and then another hour+ to cook. Then another 3 or so hours to cool. But, really, if you can let it sit overnight before using that would be best.
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp each, crushed (I use a mortar and pestal), fennel seed, anise seed, caraway seed
3 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp MSG
1 tsp salt
1 and 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
2 Tbs soy sauce
2/3 cup water
1 and 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
Combine the wet ingredients in a small bow. Combine the dry ingredients in a larger blow than the wet. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix to combine until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
If you have a small food processor you can use it to knead the dough in batches. I pulled off about a cup of dough at a time and placed each into the food processor and pulsed it for about 15 seconds total. Once I’d done the whole batch I kneaded them back together. If you don’t have a food processor just be sure to knead the dough mixture for several minutes to activate the gluten.
One the dough is needed thoroughly split the dough in half. Using parchment paper to assist, roll each piece into a sausage-shaped log. Wrap each log in parchment paper—twisting the ends like a candy wrapper—followed by a tight wrapping of aluminum foil and twisting of the ends again. Make sure the foil is wrapped twice around or it will open during cooking.
Bake the two pepperoni logs at 325 degrees for 75 minutes. Once the logs are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool down before unwrapping them. Once the logs are completely cook, place in a plastic bag or airtight container and pop into the fridge for at least 3 hours though overnight is far better ;-)
After the logs have been refrigerated they can be sliced up for use on pizzas, in calzones, with cheese and fruit on an appetizer board, in veggies hashes, in tofu scrambles, or wherever you like.