I have never made fermented pickles before so this a fun experiment. It was way easier than I was expecting and right now I assume that I will make these way more often than I make refrigerator pickles, even though they day a few days longer to make. I learned way too much about how to make real pickles from this amazing article but here I have summed up a quick recipe that my own take on one of the recipes shared by Make Sauerkraut.
- Cucumbers (2 large or 4-6 pickling cucumbers)
- 4-8 Whole peppercorns
- 2-3 Bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp dry dill
- 2-4 TBSP Kosher salt or natural sea salt (for pickling; use more for a stronger taste)
Make sure your quart jar is nice and clean before you begin. With fermentation you need to make sure no extra contaminants are in there. Consider rinsing your already clean jar with a touch of baking soda to make sure all of the soap residue is also removed.
Combine 4 cups of water with 2-3 TBSP of salt. If you want a more sour pickle use the higher end of salt. I went with 2.5 TBSP for my first go. Set this water aside for the salt to fully dissolve while you prepare your vegetables.
Slice your fresh garlic and add it along with your bay, peppercorn, and dill to your jar. Slice your cucumbers so they are a height that will comfortably fit in the jar. I didn’t do a great job at this on my first go but it worked out. Tightly pack your pickle spears into your jar.
Pour the water/salt mixture over this to cover all material in the jar. Keep your remaining salt water to fill your jar up if the water level goes down over the week. Put a lid on but do not tighten it fully. Place your jar into a dish and store in a warm area that does not have sun exposure. Make Sauerkraut makes sure to note that putting your jar on a pan of some sort is necessary in case some of the fluid comes out of your jar during fermentation. Let your jar sit for 3-6 days or until your pickles have reached their ideal ‘bite.’ Close the lid more tightly and store in the refrigerator after fermentation.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or to work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultationsvisit The Dancing Herbalist.com.