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
- * The dosage of 75-150mg BID might seem a trifle high, since it comes from the manufacturer of extract capsules. On the other hand, how much per slice am I getting in this bread? 20g = 20,000mg, for 2 loaves. That means there is 10,000mg per loaf, and about 20 slices per loaf gives you about 500mg per slice, give or take. So with this bread, you probably don't need to increase the amount of celery seed much.
- A few celery seed references that can be considered representative:
- On the isolation of novel phthalates in celery seed
- On 3nB, and the benefits of Celery Seed Extract for helping with blood pressure, gout, rheumatism:
- Natural Factors: where Great Health Begins. (2009). Celery Seed Extract: exciting help for high blood pressure, gout and rheumatism. 27832. pp. 1-2
- On the antioxidant properties of celery seed oils:
- Wei, A. and Shibamoto, T. (2007). Antioxidant activities and volatile constituents of various essential oils. J Agr Food Chem 55(5) pp 1737-42
- On some of the anti-tumour mechanisms of celery seed extract:
- Gao, L. et al. (2011) Molecular mechanisms of celery seed extract induced apoptosis via s phase cell cycle arrest in the BGC-823 human stomach cancer cell line. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 12(10) pp 2601-6
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD) says celery seed is possibly effective for dysmenorrhea (in combination with saffron and anise @ 500mg TID x 3 days); but "there is insufficient reliable information on the effectiveness of celery for its other uses" (including all of the above). Here is the study that NMCD likes: