Brined Pickles  Pickles & Preserves  178 reads

Brined Pickles
Makes 2-3 litre jars

2 lbs Baby dill cucumbers or try baby carrots, asparagus, green beans…
2-3 heads of dill (preferably flowering) (optional)
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp salt
6 cloves garlic (Optional)
2 L water

A few oak, bay leaves, grape leaves or horseradish leaves, or a 3″ chunk of horseradish root

Optional spices: coriander, mustard seeds, cumin, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, fresh ginger, fresh chilis.

Equipment

A ceramic or glass jar or crock. One two-litre vessel or two one-litre vessels. The mouth should be about as wide as the body of the vessel.
A container or jug for mixing brine
A plate that fits snugly inside your crock and a weight.
A clean cloth or apron

Soak and wash the vegetables thoroughly. If using other vegetables, just wash them and trim them to fit the jar

Layer the bottom of your container with the leaves. Now add dill and optional garlic and spices

Neatly line up your vegetables inside the glass or ceramic container. Fit them snugly, but not crammed

In a separate container, mix the salt and water

Fill the jar with brine

If your vegetables or spices float, you will need to weigh them down with a glass plate and weight. If they stay submerged, just put a clean cloth on the top of the jar and secure it in place with an elastic band

Check the pickles everyday. Using a metal spoon, skim off any bubbly scum or surface mold which appears

Failure to skim them can cause the pickles to go bad. Skimming them is also a good opportunity to check the taste of the pickles. They will take anywhere from three days to two weeks to sour to your liking. If put into a cooler placed to ferment, they can take weeks to months. The smaller ones will be done first

Once the batch is to your liking, put a lid on them and refrigerate them. It is normal and a sign of a good fermented pickle to have a cloudy brine. They will last between months and a year, depending on the pickle. Root veggies last well, and pickled cucumbers may need to be eaten more quickly. As with any other food, signs of spoilage are softening veggies, any unpleasant odour and slime etc.
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