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How to Make Live Culture Pickles

5. Place a weight on top of the vegetables to secure them below the brine.

6. Fasten your cloth around the mouth of the jar with a rubber band and place in a warm place, around 65 degrees if possible and leave to ferment for 2.5 to 5 weeks (I recommend waiting the full five weeks).

7. If mold grows on the top of your pickle, have no fear — It’s not dangerous, so you can simply scrape it off and eat whatever is underneath it.  I have physically tried this many times. It’s actually a normal part of lacto-fermented pickle making. Even commercial operations occasionally experience some molding and just remove that top layer before transferring to individual jars.

The lacto-fermentation process is actually the safest method of food preservation.  This is in contrast to home vinegar-brine pickle making, which can cultivate botulism bacteria.

8. When it’s done, transfer your pickle to smaller jars with lids, and store it in the refrigerator. These will keep at least six weeks or longer.

The vegetables are edible throughout the entire process, but they will be more tasty and easier to digest once they have been fully fermented. Notice that there is no need to add a “culture” since the bacteria that cause the fermentation actually live on the vegetables themselves.

For further reading about live-culture foods, check out Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation.

Related:
10 Ways to Use Gourds & Winter Squash
Fermented Foods: Essential Digestive Aids
10 Vegetarian Soups & Stews

Read more: All recipes, Appetizers & Snacks, Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , , ,

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84 comments

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3:28PM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

Looks interesting. There is nothing quite like some pickled delight.

3:59AM PDT on Mar 13, 2014

Thank you will try

4:56PM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

5 weeks?? Too long for me to wait.

8:48AM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

One problem for me: You said "... place in a warm place, around 65 degrees...". 65 degrees is definitely not warm, it's cold. I live in south Florida. I'm not going to have any place that I can store them that will be that cold. How warm can they be and not have a problem?

6:23AM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

Thank you! We LOVE pickles!

7:04PM PDT on Sep 22, 2013

Thanks so much, willing to try !!

2:47AM PDT on Sep 22, 2013

Thanks for sharing it

3:25AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

After reading all the ingredients I'll need to buy to make on my own, I will put a hold on my idea of doing it myself...

12:25PM PST on Feb 1, 2012

This looks like too much work. I pass on this one.

7:48AM PST on Feb 1, 2012

This is the Hungarian version of bread cured dill pickles. They are a very aquired taste. Enjoy

Some 4 1/2 pounds (two kilograms) of cucumbers are needed for a 6 1/2 pint (3-liter) jar. The right gherkins (or cucumbers) are four to five inches (10-12 centimeters) in length, two fingers thick, and crispy fresh. Half dried dill (several stalks are required, with flowers if possible). And that's the end of the shopping list, since the remaining ingredients are usually to hand in every household: a thick slice of bread (dark is better), two cloves of garlic, and salt.
First, place the cucumbers in a large bowl with lukewarm water to remove any sand on the skins. Clean thoroughly under running water, using a brush if necessary. Discard the two ends and slash the skins. It is worth testing every single cucumber, since a single bitter one can ruin the whole jar.
Add a heaped tablespoon of salt to a good two pints (one liter) of water, and bring to a boil. Leave to cool for about five minutes. Meanwhile, place half the dill and a peeled, sliced clove of garlic in the bottom of the jar, then layer the cucumbers on top. When the jar is half full, add a second layer of herbs and garlic; the bread is placed on top. Then pour the salt water over the cucumbers to cover them, and moisten the bread. Put a lid, a small plate, or a piece of cheese- cloth over the jar, and place in the sun. The cucumbers will have ceased fermenting after three or four days. The water turns cloudy during t

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