UPDATE: this recipe has been updated. See the latest version here.
Fermented Bread and Butter Pickles
Makes 1 quart
- 3-4 cucumbers
- Big bowl of cold water and ice*
- 1 Tb pickling spice**
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- ~20 celery leaves (you could substitute a little bit of celery seed, or even a stalk of celery)
- 1/2 cup raw mild honey
- 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 Tb celtic sea salt
- 2 Tb whey
- Optional: 3 oak leaves (or substitute cherry, horseradish, or grape leaves)***
- Equipment needed: quart mason jar, rock for weighing down the cucumbers (boil the rock in water for several minutes to make sure it is very clean)
- Soak the whole cucumbers in ice water for 5-8 hours.
- In a medium bowl, combine pickling spice, mustard powder, honey, vinegar, salt, and whey. Stir well to dissolve the honey and salt.
- Put two oak leaves and the celery leaves in the bottom of a quart mason jar.
- Remove and discard the ends from the cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers; I used a mandoline to slice the cucumbers and it worked wonderfully.
- Add the cucumber slices to the mason jar, packing them down if needed.
- Pour the honey/vinegar/spice mixture over the cucumber slices.
- Pack down the cucumbers so that they are covered by the liquid. If your cucumbers keep floating up to the top, try weighing them down. I used a rock from my yard to hold the cukes down (I boiled the rock in water for a few minutes to make sure it was nice and clean, and then cooled it down before putting it on top of the cucumbers.) There should be at least 1-inch of head space at the top of the jar.
- If necessary, add a little filtered water to fully cover the cucumbers. If you do this, make sure the water gets mixed well with the other liquid in the jar.
- Scrape any spices or cucumber bits that are stuck to the jar back down into the liquid. Then use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe the inside of the jar above the liquid. (This will help in making sure that the ferment works well and no funky stuff grows at the top of the jar.)
- Put a lid on the jar and leave at room temperature for 2 days; then transfer to the refrigerator. You can taste-test a pickle slice to make sure they are ready before moving them to the fridge. If you'd like them a little more pickled, leave them out for another day.
**I buy Frontier brand pickling spice from the bulk section at the natural foods grocery store. The pickling spice is a mixture of organic yellow mustard, organic cinnamon chips, organic allspice, organic dill seed, organic celery seed, organic bay leaf, organic mild chilies, organic cloves, organic caraway, and organic ginger root.
***The oak leaves help the cucumbers to stay crispy during fermentation.
This post is part of Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet and Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop!