Classic Sauerkraut

So many recipes have this kraut being made in a pint or quart size container! If you are going to make kraut go ahead and use a wide mouth larger crock (glass, enameled earthenware or plastic will do) and make enough to last for a few weeks. One of the amazing things about making sauerkraut is that there is always cabbage as it winters well, so you can make it all year long. This is a classic recipe, but I do make a few flavors I love, but its great to start with a basic recipe before you get fancy.

Tips Before You Start

  • Make sure your container has no white film in it when it is dry. If so, use a different container.
  • Wash it thoroughly and pour boiling water to rinse it a couple of times to make sure it is clean.
  • Have a large CLEAN, mixing bowl, plate and jar (all cleaned in boiling water) and a clean cloth for covering your crock and kraut.
  • Your hands must be VERY clean. Make sure you have everything you need around you so that you don’t have to open drawers, turn on faucets, touch phones, computers, books, or anything while making your kraut. If you have to, wash your hand thoroughly in hot water again.
  • Use wooden spoons and mashers and glass or crockery for dipping and weighting.
  • The best and freshest ingredients will yield the best sauerkraut. You can make relish with your old, tough cabbage, but use your young, fresh, tender cabbage for your sauerkraut.

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs of cabbage
  • 3 tbs of sea salt
  • 2 tbs caraway seeds
  • 3 tbs juniper seeds

Directions:

1: Quarter the cabbage and slice out the core. It is easier to slice when it is quartered this way. Slice the cabbage into thin slices.

2: When doing 5 lbs of cabbage I divide the cabbage into three parts. Put one part of cabbage in the bowl at a time. Add a tablespoon of salt, 1/3 of the caraway and 1/3 of the juniper. Crush the cabbage in the bowl with the salt and spices until it starts to break down a bit.

3: Pour it into the clean crock and press it down firmly with your fist or a wooden pestle.

4: After all the cabbage is pressed down as much as it can be add a sprinkle of salt on top. If the liquid from the cabbage doesn’t cover the cabbage completely add a little water. Put a clean plate on the kraut that fits into the crock. Place the jar of water on top of the plate to press it down and release bubbles that form. Cover the crock with a clean cloth. Keeping the crock in the kitchen as your kraut brines is useful. You don’t want to forget about it! Make sure to check it every day.

5: In 2 or 3 days, white scum will form on the top. Skim this off with a clean spoon every few days. Repeat this skimming (a 5-minute job) each day until the bubbles stop rising, or for about 2 weeks. Then your sauerkraut is done!

6: You can put it in the fridge in the crock. If so, just skim it one more time & wash the plate and cover with a fresh cloth.

7: At this stage put mine in boiled mason jars before refrigerating it so it is easy to eat. Please remember as with all fermented foods, do not double dip. Your saliva is filled with bacteria that will happily rot your kraut. If you put it in serving size jars its easier to eat. Happy eating!