Sour Dill Pickles
timeframe: 1–4 weeks
Most modern pickles are preserved with vinegar. Traditional pickles are fermented, living foods.
- 3-4 pounds cucumbers
- ⅜ cup kosher or sea salt (non‐iodized)
- 3‐4 heads fresh dill, or 3‐4 tablespoons dried dill
- 2‐3 heads garlic, peeled
- 1 handful fresh grape, oak, or horseradish leaves (tannins for crunchiness)
- 1 pinch black peppercorns
- large mixing bowl for brine
- mason jars
- Rinse cucumbers and scrape off any remains at blossom end.
- Dissolve ⅜ cup salt in ½ gallon water. This makes about a 5% brine.
- Distribute all ingredients except brine evenly in mason jars.
- Pour brine to cover. Cap loosely and place on the countertop away from sunlight.
- Pickles will start to be ready in about a week. Once they are soured to your liking,
place in the refrigerator to slow fermenting. Eat within two weeks.
For longer storage, a saltier brine will keep pickles crisp longer. Soak pickles in plain water to remove excess salt before eating.
Lacto-ferments with salt can vary widely based on temperature. Use more salt to inhibit microbial action in the summer heat; less salt in winter when microbial action slows.