While I tend to do this in the summer when you can get a huge amount of pickling cucumbers at local farms for super cheap, I still do use this recipe at all times of the year so that I get the healthy probiotics from my pickles, something you don't get from vinegar-based pickles. It's easy enough to make and far cheaper than buying probiotic pickles from the store.
Probiotic Dill Pickles Recipe
- 2 lb pickling cucumber, all similar sized (4–5")
- 6 cups filtered or de-chlorinated water (*See method 2 or 3 on this Wikihow article on how to dechlorinate water)
- 2 tablespoons fine Himalayan sea salt (*Or 1 teaspoon salt (6–7g) per one cup of water for a 2.5% brine.)
- 8–12 garlic cloves, sliced (or double for extra garlicky)
- 1 teaspoon each: fennel seeds, coriander seeds, allspice berries, whole mustard seeds (brown or yellow), celery seeds, black peppercorns (or add more peppercorns to your taste)
- Big handful fresh dill
- ½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (*optional)
- 3–4 bay leaves
Rinse the cucumbers and place in an ice-water bath, to crisp them up (10-20 minutes).
Warm up one cup of the water on the stove, and stir in all the salt until dissolved. Let cool to room temp. Mix this cup with the remaining 5 cups water to get a 2.5% salt water brine.
In a large, clean two quart jar (or 2 quart-sized jars), layer the cucumbers, garlic slices, dill sprigs, bay leaves, all the seeds, and chili flakes (if using).
Pour the salt water brine over top, leaving an inch of space at the top. Weigh down the cucumbers if need be, so they are submerged under the brine. I use a fermentation weight, but you can use a small ziplock bag with a little water in it. Place a self-burping fermentation lid on top then place the jar in a bowl or on a plate to collect any overflow and leave it in a cool dark place for 3-7 days (a basement, or lower kitchen cupboard).
After 3 days, check for signs of life: bubbles, clouding. Tap the jar, and see if tiny bubbles rise to the top. Most people ferment 4-7 days. Longer ferments will yield tangier pickles. Once you see active bubbles, you can at this point place the jar in the fridge, where it will continue to ferment, but much more slowly. Be sure to keep the pickles fully submerged. Once chilled, give them taste. They should be crispy and flavourful with a little tang. At this point, if you want a tangier/softer pickle, you can take them out of the fridge again and ferment for longer if you want. They also get softer as they ferment, so if you go too long, you’ll lose the crispness. I like tangier ones and have left them as long as 1-2 months and didn't find them too soggy, but it's up to you and what you prefer.
You can store your pickles in the fridge for several months. As long as it tastes and smells good to eat, it is.
Did you make this probiotic dill pickle recipe? If so, please let me know how it turned out in the comments. Or if you share pics of your creations on Instagram, please tag me so I can see them. Enjoy! :)