So many people have asked me for this recipe! I am so glad to share it. While pickles made from distilled vinegar are “as digestible as rocks” fermented foods are amazing because they actually help and heal digestion! These pickles are easy to make, delicious and full pf probiotics for aiding in digestion. Please, NEVER use sugar when making vegetable ferments. Vegetables are already full of sugar and never need any added, unless you want to damage your health!
A general rule of thumb to consider in salting your ferments: more salt to slow microorganism action in summer heat; less salt in winter when microbial action slows.
Added to 1 quart of water, each tablespoon of sea salt adds 1.8% brine. 2 tablespoons of salt in 1 quart of water yields a 3.6% brine, 3 tablespoons yields 5.4%, and so on. I usually use 2.5 to 3 tablespoons of salt per quart of water knowing I want to eat pickles all winter. This summer my pickles have been done in a week if they sit in the kitchen. In the cool of the basement they slowed a bit.
My favorite combination for flavor and crispness is to add both oak leaves and grape leaves. An occasional horseradish leaf is lovely for that spicy flavor!
Time frame: 1-4 weeks
- Ceramic or glass crock / food-grade plastic bucket
- Plate or lid that fits INSIDE the top of crock or bucket
- jug filled with water, or other weight
- Cloth cover
Ingredients for 1 gallon :
- 3 to 4 pounds unwaxed cucumbers (small to medium size)
- 6 tablespoons sea salt
- 3 to 4 heads fresh flowering dill, or 3 to 4
- tablespoons/ of any form of
- dill (fresh or dried leaf or seeds)
- 6 or 7 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 handful fresh grape, oak, and/or
- horseradish leaves (the tannins help keep your cucumbers crisp)
- 1 pinch black peppercorns
- Rinse cucumbers, taking care to not bruise them, and making sure their blossoms are removed. Scrape off any remains at the blossom end. If you are using cucumbers that aren’t fresh off the vine that day, soak them for a couple of hours in very cold water to freshen them.
- Dissolve sea salt in hot water to create brine solution. Stir until salt is thoroughly dissolved. add the peppercorns
Clean the crock, then place at the bottom of it some of the dill, garlic, grape and oak leaves.
Place cucumbers in the crock. place the rest of the dill, garlic, leaves
Pour brine over the cucumbers. Place the (clean) plate over them, then weigh it down with the jug or weight of your choice. If the brine doesn’t cover the weighed-down plate, add more brine mixed at the same ratio of just under 1 tablespoon of salt to each cup of water.
Cover the crock with a cloth to keep out dust and flies and store it in a cool place.
Check the crock every day. Skim any mold from the surface, but don’t worry if you can’t get it all. If there’s mold, be sure to rinse the plate and weight. Taste the pickles after a few days.
Enjoy the pickles as they continue to ferment. Continue to check the crock every day.
Eventually, after one to four weeks (depending on the temperature), the pickles will be fully sour. Continue to enjoy them, moving them to the fridge to slow down fermentation.