All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Celery Seed Rye Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Rye Bread with Celery Seed

We've all heard some crazy shit about celery.  Like the urban myth that says it costs more in calories to masticate and metabolize celery than it provides, therefore it is the perfect diet food.  Or the belief that it transforms the breath of human males, making them exhale pheromone-like substances which makes them suddenly more attractive to women (at the same time boosting the male's libido, fortunately).

Well, that last one is sorta true.  In theory.  Most of the girls I've met aren't really that impressed with celery-munchers (or bread eaters, come to think of it).  I think they must be more interested in guys exuding pure testosterone than androstenone...

I could say something about celery seed extract here, and how it has been shown to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and inhibit stroke; I could point to studies that show celery seeds have many unique compounds that are beneficial in various ways -- antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, inhibiting cancer growth.  But by now, no doubt, you've grown tired and suspicious of the hype surrounding celery seeds.  I know I have.

But the point I'd like to make is this: you can take the extract, for arthritis, or gout, or any other ailment that the seed itself has been used for since before the Romans took over the boot of Italy.  And you can hope that the scientists who have concentrated the extracts have left all the beneficial things that celery root in its whole form might have (even though they don't know all the details yet).  Or you can just eat some seed.  

In this bread, I add some seed to the dough, and I get my celery seed this way.

How much seed do you need?  I dunno.  The celery seed extract companies want you to take a "75mg capsule standardized to contain 85% 3nB and other celery phthalates at a dosage of 75 to 150 mg twice daily."  (Natural factors, Reseach Information, Celery Seed Extract).  3nB stands for 3-n-butylphthalide, one of the molecules found in celery that has been found to be so beneficial.  Apparently this corresponds to "8 ribs of celery per day."

Here's what I did. 20g of seed is enough to taste the celery flavour, a little bit.  And it turns out, this gives you a pretty good representation of celery seed in your diet.*

Same amount of celery seed, by weight, as the salt to be added

20% Rye Loaf with celery seed

  • 80% ww flour
  • 20% rye flour
  • 20% sourdough
  • 2% salt
  • 2% celery seed
  • 76% water

Even adding a tiny bit of seed to the dough, as I've done here, the seed takes on water and gives the dough a mucilaginous texture.  It becomes gluier, tighter, quicker.  The gluten won't develop as much elasticity, even at 76% hydration.

I liked this loaf well enough.  I could double the celery seed next time to see what would happen -- but I would have to increase the water content, for sure, to offset the mucilage that would tighten the dough.

Now if you add celery seed to maca in dough, you might be looking at an unbeatable sex bread combination.  In theory.

Notes to Myself


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