Recipe #2 in our pickling 3 ways series: Lacto-fermented Cucumbers
Lacto-fermenting is a simple and easy way to preserve food a few months. And oh so delicious. I mean, once you start lactose-fermenting you usually can’t stop because you body craves this delicious and nutritious magic. Lacto-fermenting works with a salt brine. The salt brine kills off bacteria that can harm us, and then the beneficial bacteria can multiply. As they multiply they make our foods delicious! Lacto-fermented foods are tangy and effervescent.
Lacto-fermenting is very forgiving in the preservation sense. As long as you keep the foods submerged in the brine, they will preserve well. But, you must be considerate of the brine strength ( foods aren’t too salty) and the flavor combinations.
6 tablespoons of kosher salt
6 cups of water ( if you have city water consider using spring water or a filer that removes chlorine, higher levels of chlorine may effect your results)
8 medium sized pickling cucumbers
8 cloves of garlic
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
8 sprigs of fresh dill
4 quart sized glass jars with tight fitting lids ( almost all of my canning jars are repurposed jars)
Wash all your cucumbers and trim the bottoms and tops
Fill a separate jar or pitcher with 6 cups of water and 6 tblsp of salt, stir to dissolve and set aside
Crush each clove of garlic and place 2 in each quart jar
Evenly divide spices between jars
Place one sprig of dill in each jar
Slice cucumbers length-wise into spears ( each will need to be cut into 4-6 spears)
Trim cucumbers in length so they fit in the jars with a few inches to spare
Pack the jars with cucumbers, pack them tightly so they have no room to move
Place a spring of dill on top of each jar and then push it into the cucumbers so it stays wedged under the brine
Pour brine over each jar until everything is under water ( leaving a little head room)
Tightly lid jars, store in a cool, darkish, easily accessible locations.
Burb the jars daily. They should start to fizz a bit when you open them ( make sure you do this to release pressure so they don’t explode!)
Now, deciding they are ready. I’m sure there is some science to this but it is more intuition and taste buds. The factors of what went into the jars change based on rainfall and sunshine. I believe these that I made will be ready in about 4 days. I say they are ready when I try one and want to eat another and another ( seriously).
Once they are fermented to the flavor you like, put them in the fridge. They will keep a few months, but they probably will not last that long. xxoo