Lacto Fermented Pickles

After your surprising interest into my laco fermented garlic scapes (THANK YOU!), here's a new fermentation recipe, aka my pickle recipe! No vinegar needed here, all you need is water and salt to get that perfect sour taste! So time to stock up on these while pickling cucumbers are still in season and easy to find at the market!

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Lacto Fermented Pickles

For a 2 liters jars

Ingredients & props

  • Two quarts/liters glass jar, clean*
  • Cucumber brine : 6 tbsp of unrefined salt + two quarts/liters of water
  • 1.5 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1.5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp of chili flakes
  • 2-4 bay leaves
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 branches of fresh dill or, even better, the flower head (you can substitute it with 1 tsp of dill seeds) 
  • 8-10 pickling cucumbers, the fresher you can find, well washed and ends trimmed.
  • 2-3 fresh leaves of either grape vines, oak or horseradish**

*You don't absolutely need to sterelize your jar. Simply clean it well, either in the dishwasher or with hot soapy water.

**These three kind of leaves are all rich sources of tannins. Tannins help to preserve the crispiness of the veggies during the fermentation process. They are not mandatory but I highly encourage you to add them.

Steps

For the brine: 

  1. This step is optional but highly recommanded : in a saucepan, bring the water to a boil and let it boil uncovered for 5 minutes. 
  2. Turn off the heat, add the salt and make sure it completely disolves. 
  3. Transfer the salted water (your brine) into a glass jar and let cool down at room temperature

The pickles:

  1. In your two quarts/liters jar, put all the spices : mustard, coriander, peppercorn, bay leaves, dill and chili peppers, but also the garlic cloves and fresh dill.
  2. Pack the pickling cucumbers in the jar until there's no more space. It's a little bit like playing Tétris! Makes sure there are under the shoulders of the jars; this will help them to stay in place, well submerged.
  3. Pour the brine until the cucumbers are well submerged.
  4. Cover with the grape vine, oak or horseradish leaves.
  5. Put the lid on without completely closing it. That way, the extra CO2 produced during the fermentation process can come out of the jar.
  6. Place the jar in a bigger container and set these somewhere well airy and without any direct light.
  7. Ferment 3-4 to 6-7 days, depending of the room temperature*. Check them out daily  : as the cucmber start to ferment, they will lose their vibrant green color to slowly turn a drab olive color, while the brine  will become cloudy. After 3 or 4 days, , you'll have "half-sours"; after about 6-7 days, you'll have "full-sours", which means more sour pickles. When you're pleased with the taste, you can stop the fermentation process and set the jar in the fridge. You can keep them like that for many months or even up to a year.

* The warmer it will be, the faster it will ferment. On the opposite, the colder it will be and the slower it will ferment.

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