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Line two baking sheets with foil. Place racks on top, if using, or cover the foil with a layer of parchment paper.
Put the vital wheat gluten in a large bowl and set aside.
Put the remaining seitan ingredients (water, soy sauce, liquid smoke, garlic, rice vinegar, maple syrup, toasted sesame oil and ginger) in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the wet mixture into the wheat gluten, stirring to combine. Move the dough to a flat surface and knead for 2 to 3 minutes. Cut the dough ball into 3 or 4 pieces and freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce.
After the dough has chilled, slice it thinly, dip each piece into the sauce, and place on the rack/pan. Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper, if desired.*If jerky is directly on a parchment-lined pan, flip every 30 to 45 minutes to ensure even drying.
Bake the seitan for 1 1/2 hours to 1 hour 45 minutes (as mentioned in the post, this is affected by several factors; it may even take closer to 2 hours). Check doneness a few times during the second half of cooking (see notes).