This recipe is only for the bacon part of this dish. It is the only Christmas recipe I’m doing this year, and it’s not strictly a Christmas recipe at all, but can certainly be adapted to suit the season with the addition of your favourite plant-based sausages. The recipe is to be made the day before you want to eat them, as the ‘bacon’ strips need to be marinated in the smokey seasoning overnight. I actually left mine for two days in the fridge, but overnight is quite sufficient.
If you are using a rolling pin to roll out the dough, then you will have to get it as thin as you can (if it is too thick it will have more of a doughy texture, the ideal is about 2 millimetres). By far the best way to get the thickness you desire is by running the dough through a pasta machine. With a pasta machine you start of at the thickest number (usually 9), run the dough through it twice to spread it out, then gradually decrease the numbers on the wheel, running the dough through twice each time, until you get to number 2. This does take some practice to get right, and I’ve put a little video here to show you what I mean. If you don’t have a pasta machine, then carry on with the rolling pin.
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour resting time. Cooking time: about 40 minutes, plus overnight for marinating.
Makes about 25
For the Dough:
200g (1/2 block) extra firm tofu, drained
25ml light soy sauce
75ml cold water
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp liquid smoke
150g plain flour
100g vital wheat gluten
2 heaped tbsp smokey BBQ seasoning (I got mine from Sainsburys)
1 tbsp Cajun spice mix
2 tbsp tomato puree
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
Oil for brushing
For the Marinade:
50ml light soy sauce
3 tbsp liquid smoke
25ml sunflower oil
50ml cold water
5 heaped tsp smoked paprika powder (also from Sainsburys)
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp smokey BBQ seasoning
20-25 of your favourite vegan sausages, defrosted if frozen
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To make the dough, put the tofu, light soy sauce, water, dark soy sauce and liquid smoke into a blender and blend until it is completely smooth. When you are done it will have the consistency of a thick milkshake.
Now put the flour and vital wheat gluten into a large mixing bowl and pour in the blended tofu mix. Add the rest of the dough ingredients and mix with a table knife until it starts to clump together.
Knead the dough with your hands on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Now brush on a little oil, cover and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Meanwhile make the marinade by whisking all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
Once your dough has rested, cut or tear it into quarters. If you are using a rolling pin then roll each piece, on a lightly floured surface, until it is almost paper thin (or as close as you can get to it.) If you are using a pasta machine, run each quarter through the machine using the method described in the introduction. Watch the small video clip to see the pasta machine in action.
Now cut the flattened dough into bacon-size strips and line a large baking tray with a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Dip each vegan bacon strip into the marinade, until it is fully coated, and then lay it out onto the greaseproof paper. Keep going until the sheet is full and then lay another sheet of paper on top of that. Fill this one with more marinated bacon strips and then lay yet another sheet of paper on top of that if needed. Keep going until you have used all of the vegan bacon up. Now cover the tray and leave in the fridge to marinade overnight.
When you are ready to cook them, preheat the oven to gas 6/200C/400F.
Wrap each of your sausages with a with a vegan bacon strip, then place on a lightly oiled baking tray.
Cook in the middle of the oven for about 35 minutes, turning halfway through, then move them to the top of the oven for another to minutes to crispen and brown.
If you are using the bacon for other purposes (such as any other time of year), then fry, grill or oven bake the strips using your preferred method.