The Spa Spy blog

Recipe: The Alternative Kitchen Shiitake Stuffed Seitan Plait

Meet Stu Henshall, musician-turned-baker who appeared on our TV screens in 2015 on The Great British Bake Off. Before this he was touring as a musician with the likes of The Prodigy – talented guy.

Since baking, Stu has turned his passion for food into a business, launching The Alternative Kitchen, a plant-based cooking empire that now includes books, magazines, bespoke catering and a successful supper club. Stu now juggles this with raising two young children, admitting that - while life may not be as rock and roll - he probably gets a similar amount of sleep.
We asked Stu to create a recipe for us that could be a classic winter warmer – here’s what he came up with.

Shiitake Stuffed Seitan Plait


For the stuffing:

Olive oil
170g shiitake mushrooms sliced  
2 leeks, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried thyme
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 vegetable stock cube
Juice of ½ a lemon
Salt and Pepper to season

For the roast:

3 cloves garlic
½ can pinto beans
325mls of vegetable stock
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 sundried tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil or oil from sundried tomatoes
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried sage
Pepper to season
320g pack of ready rolled puff pastry

The Alternative Kitchen's Shiitake Stuffed Seitan Plai


For the filling:

  • Preheat the oven to 170c/gas mark 3
  • For the stuffing, fry mushrooms and leeks in oil until soft, then add the salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. Cook for another minute
  • Crumble the stock cube into the pan and add a squeeze of lemon and the breadcrumbs. Toss ingredients until the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted
  • Blitz the garlic, beans, tomatoes, stock, oil and soy sauce in a processor until smooth
  • Combine remaining dry ingredients and blitz again
  • Once fully incorporated, transfer the mixture onto a 40cm length of kitchen foil, creating a flattened sausage shape with a 5cm gap on each side
  • With the side of your hand, work the mixture flat until it is no more than 1cm thick
  • Move the mixture to the lower half of the sheet and, using the foil, roll it over to encase the mixture by overlapping slightly
  • Bake it for 40 minutes

To make the plait:
Unroll the puff pastry with the short end facing you.  Cut the two furthest away corners off and cut a square out of the two corners facing you.

  • Then cut horizontal 10cm lines 2cms apart, leaving one each side until you reach the point closest to you, with the two missing squares
  • Once cooled, unwrap the filling with a bread knife slice the ends off to reveal a perfect cylinder
  • Place this on the centre of the pastry, folding the top piece of pastry over before plaiting the slats diagonally down to create the plait
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 170c/gas mark 3
  • Serve hot – and enjoy