Saturday, March 7, 2009

Strange (bread)fellows: A celery loaf

I'm not really into celery—or rather I never think to eat it. That is, except in cold mayo-based salads like the krab version I whipped up one day, where the finely diced stalks added a tiny, refreshing crunch with every bite. I only used a few handfuls' worth in that salad, though, which left me with a sizable container of leftovers.
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The diced celery languished in my refrigerator for a week or so before the guilt set in. I was loathe to let it go bad, but I couldn't think of anything I wanted to do with it either. Then it hit me—bread! I could up the health quotient of my loaf while ridding myself of an unwanted ingredient. And there was potential for interesting sandwiches, too: honey and peanut butter on celery bread; cream cheese and thinly sliced ham on celery bread.

So I kneaded handfuls of diced celery into the dough of my standard bread loaf before putting it in the oven to bake, trying to cram in as much as possible. In the process little green bits dropped all over my counter.
I hadn't counted on the earthy sweetness of the baked celery, which lent its flavor and fragrance to the resulting loaf with good results. There was a pleasant vegetal aroma to the bread that complemented most anything I put on it without being too strange. It might not be my favorite bread, but if I ever have leftover stalks again, I now have one more way to use them up.

Kinda makes me wonder what other vegetables I can hide in my bread….


  1. Clever! Sounds tasty, surprisingly.

  2. Kitt, I think baking into bread is going to be my solution for veggie odds and ends from now on. The next loaf I'm trying is one using juice leftover from grated zucchini. Hmm!

  3. and might I offer an edit to the title? strange bread-fellows. ba-dump-bump.

  4. I am DEFINITELY stealing that title. 'Twas exactly what I was going for!

  5. I recently got dumplings with pork/celery on a whim. Didn't think it'd be good, but was definitely a refreshing twist, and didn't come back up via burps at a bar like pork/mushroom ones!

  6. robbie, I just looked at your site; I do the same thing at work except instead of using the microwave, I have an electric kettle and i blanch inside of a glass container or jar. cool!

  7. Robbie, is it the leeks or chives that make the damnably tasty dumplings so stinky? I'll keep an eye out for celery/pork versions for sure.

  8. The Simply Crusty Bread recipe looks good. Do you bake yours on a stone like it says or just a baking sheet?

  9. Very clever! I really like celery, both raw and cooked, but like you I rarely think to use it, even when I have a ton in the fridge.

  10. Definitely the leeks are stinky ;) actually I think it's the chives...
    Celery is surprisingly savory when you cook it slightly :) mm that looks good and love the title hehe
    PS Zucchini bread? Count me in!

  11. Molly, I bake mine in a dutch oven: covered for the first twenty minutes and uncovered for about 5-10 more so that the crust gets browned.

    The Other Tiger, thanks! If you give it a try be sure to let me know how it goes.

    Yvo, I have been thinking about zucchini bread lately! Although the sweet kind. I wonder how it'd turn out in just a regular loaf like this…

  12. I also had too much celery in the fridge recently! Went looking for ideas and found your post. Took your celery bread idea, plus a suggestion of "Thanksgiving Bread" from, and made delicious "Stuffing Bread" (ie. bread stuffing for a turkey....which I could just eat by itself!).

    Started with same standard bread recipe as you. I recently discovered the "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" recipe and am loving it.

    Substituted whole wheat flour for about 1/3 of the flour. For 2 loaves, I think I added about 1 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped red onion, 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, and 1-2 tsp dried sage, plus some sea salt sprinkled on the top of the loaf before baking. Yummy! And well received at a house party I took it to.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Megan: Stuffing bread, that's brilliant! Definitely stealing that idea!