Celery Bread

celery bread

If you live anywhere in Norfolk County it’s likely you know what Celery Bread is. There’s no celery in this bread. Thankfully. It’s a buttered cube of bread sprinkled with celery seed and then grilled or broiled. The recipe originated at the Erie Beach Hotel in Port Dover and is a favourite with locals. It’s a must if you’re having a fish fry.

When I was a kid my mom would use up stale hamburger buns by buttering the cut side (or probably back then spreading Imperial Margarine on them), sprinkling celery seed on top then toasting under the broiler. We loved them!

You need an unsliced loaf of white bread, preferably as square as possible. Trim all four sides and the top. You can leave the bottom crust.

celery bread


Don’t worry about the bread left behind that’s been cut off. It’s perfect for Stuffing. Just cut the pieces into cubes and freeze them for another time.

celery bread

Cut the loaf into thick chunks, usually about 10 per loaf. Butter all sides of the bread including the top and bottom, then sprinkle generously with celery seed.

celery bread celery bread


I’ve made a few pieces in a frying pan if you’re not making too many. Just grill each side including the top and bottom.

celery bread

If you’re having a big fish fry and making a large quantity it’s probably easier to do an entire sheet pan in the oven. But you have to watch them carefully – I’ve burnt an entire pan before and that totally ruins the fish fry. Totally.

So according to the instructions in the comments below from the expert, Pam, I now make mine like she says by preparing the pieces in advance, wrapping them tightly and refrigerating them, then standing them up in a dish in a hot oven.

Otherwise if you have a manageable number of guests you can grill the bread in a hot pan, turning to each side including the top and bottom. This involves some strategy, you may have to lean pieces against each other to grill the top and bottom without them tipping over.

Plan on everyone eating at least 2 pieces. And serve it right away, it’s best hot.

celery bread

These go great with Cornmeal Crusted Crappie .

12 thoughts on “Celery Bread”

  1. Marjorie Schneider , founder of the Erie Beach Hotel is the creator of the famous celery bread ? her recipe has several small details that make all the difference in the world ?
    After removing the crust from an unsliced sandwich loaf , cut the bread into approx 10-12 chunks . Brush all sides with melted butter and celery seed , wrap into loaf shape and refrigerate overnight . Place bread tipped up onto a pie plate with plenty of space between pieces for lots of browning in a 400 oven ….enjoy ?

    1. Thank you SO much! I’ve been told there was paprika added and they only used margarine. I didn’t believe it! I’m going to make it this way next time.

  2. As owner of the Erie Beach Hotel I can tell you that deep frying is not a good idea? unless you want a grease filled soggy bun.
    Ours is baked in the oven at high temps. Leave the deep frying for the ?. Cheers

  3. Thank you for the recipe, this is awesome ! I was just saying we need some Erie Beach celery bread for our perch fry tonight, having company in Port Stanley and they will be so impressed as they too grew up on, and are so fond of the Erie Beach celery bread!

    1. We just had dinner at the Erie Beach the other night. They have a new rooftop patio. It’s awesome! I managed to control myself and only eat one piece of celery bread but honestly I could probably eat 5 or 6!

  4. Going to the Lighthouse Theatre and lunch at the Erie Beach Hotel. Can’t wait to try the celery bread. Thanks for putting the information on the net everyone was asking what it was. I was thinking of bread with celery in it.

    1. The Lighthouse Theatre is awesome, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. And yes, there’s no celery in Celery Bread, thankfully! haha.

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