How to make Manhattan-style, Fermented Pickles! A simple recipe for making the most flavorful, crunchy, tangy, garlic dill pickles with only 15 minutes of hands-on time. Full of healthy, gut-healing probiotics these little guys are perfect as a low-calorie snack, or sliced and added to sandwiches.
- 2 lbs pickling cucumbers– all similar size (4–5 inches)
- 6 cups filtered water (non-chlorinated- tap water may have chlorine which can inhibit fermentation)
- 2 tablespoons fine sea salt or Himalayan salt — or basically one teaspoon salt (6–7 grams) per one cup of water for a 2.5% brine (see notes)
- 8–12 garlic cloves, sliced (or double for extra garlicky)
- 1 teaspoon each: fennel seeds, coriander seeds, allspice, peppercorns, dill seeds, mustard seeds, celery seeds- and feel free to add more peppercorns!
- big handful fresh dill
- 1–3 fresh red chilies – or dried arbol chilies, or add chili flakes (all optional)
- 3–4 bay leaves (or a grape leaf)
You’ll need a 1/2 gallon mason jar, crock, or 2 quart-sized jars- clean and sterile.
- 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. You will end up with 2.5% saltwater brine.
- In a large, clean two quart jar, layer the cucumbers, garlic slices, fresh dill sprigs, bay leaves and all the whole spices.
- Pour the salt water brine over top, leaving an inch of headroom.
- Weigh down the cucumbers if need be, so they are submerged under the brine. (Use a fermentation weight, or a small ziplock back with a little water in it, or a sterilized river stone-see notes. ). Place a lid on it, loosely tightened. Place in a pan or bowl 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. I usually ferment for 5 days. Longer ferments will yield tangier pickles. They also get softer as they ferment, so if you go too long, you’ll lose the crispness. Up to you. You can taste them at any point after you see bubbles, and ferment longer if you like. 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. Keep the pickles submerged.
- Once chilled, give them taste. They should be crispy and flavorful with a little tang. (At this point, if you want a tangier or softer pickle, you can absolutely pull them back out again and ferment for a few more days longer if you want.)
- If you like a fizzy brine, tighten the lid, burping every week or so. If you don’t want to think about it, give the lid one loose twist, so it’s on there, but gases can escape.
If you need more brine, make sure you use the same ratio- 1 teaspoon sea salt per one cup of water.
If using a grape leaf, place it on the side of the jar, then layer the remaining ingredients.
Feel free to use 2, quart-size jars, dividing cucumbers, spices and brine between the jars.
BRINE: This recipe is a 2.5 % saltwater brine, which is considered “safe”. It equals 6 grams of salt per one cup of water. I’ve had really good luck with this ratio – and this ratio allows me to drink the brine (like a shot) because it is not too salty. If you want a stronger, saltier brine, feel free to go up to 3.5%.
- 2.5% ratio = 6 grams salt per one cup of water. ( 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, per 1 cup water)
- 3% ratio = 7 grams salt per 1 cup of water. (1 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, per 1 cup water)
- 3.5% Ratio= 9 grams of salt per 1 cup of water. ( 1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, per 1 cup water)
To use a smooth river stone as a weight in the jar, sterilize in boiling water for 20 minutes.
Keywords: fermented pickles, fermented cucumbers, kosher dill pickles, lactose-fermented pickles, how to ferment pickles, fermented dill pickles, kosher dill pickle recipe