Mix the flour and water together to form a firm dough. Knead the dough for 3 to 5 minutes by hand or in a food processor for 2 to 3 minutes. Place the dough in a large mixing bowl, cover with cold water and let sit for about 1 hour. Next, knead the dough in the water, gently, until water turns milky. This is starch water. Pour off the starch water and reserve in a bowl. Cover the dough with warm water and repeat kneading until the water turns milky again. Pour off and combine with reserved starch water. Repeat kneading, alternating cold and warm water until a ball of gluten forms, the water becomes clear when kneading and most of the bran and starch have been washed out of the dough. The spongy mass is called wheat gluten, which is the wheat protein.
Slice the carrots into 2-inch long pieces. If very thick, cut into quarters lenghwise. Pull the gluten into small balls slightly larger than golf balls. Stretch a piece of gluten and wrap it completely around a piece of carrot. Pinch the gluten to seal around the carrot. Repeat until all carrots have been completely wrapped in gluten.
Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a heavy pot. Working in batches, place 3 to 4 carrot stuffed gluten bundles in the hot oil. Deep-fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all bundles have been fried.
Place 1 quart water, shiitake, maitake, kombu and soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Place the deep-fried seitan bundles in the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer 5 minutes uncovered, then cover and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes. The carrots cook inside while the gluten becomes soft, tender, and slightly salty. This is called seitan.
Remove the carrot stuffed seitan bundles and thicken the cooking liquid with some of the reserved starch water to make a gravy. When thick, pour over the seitan and serve over a bed of cooked white or brown rice, millet, quinoa, red quinoa, or barley garnished with scallions or parsley.
VARIATION: If time is limited, make the gluten using vital gluten flour found in natural food stores and follow directions for forming a dough and kneading. Once the gluten is made follow the directions above for stuffing with carrots and cooking.
Per serving - 351 calories, 6 g fat (14% calories from fat), 65 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 621 mg sodium