Lacto-Fermented Dill Pickles

This recipe is adapted from D. Mary’s recipe for Cucumbers in Jars on page 75 in the book Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning.

  • 1 1/2 T sea salt per quart (litre) of water
  • unchlorinated water
  • small handful fennel seeds
  • 6-10 black peppercorns
  • 1 T mustard seeds
  • 5-7 cloves
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 8-10 small to medium sized cucumbers, washed
  • dill flower heads and leaves
  • small handful of coriander seeds
  • clean jars with canning tops
  • 1 horseradish root, sliced (to keep cucumbers firm)

Add the salt to a bottle of transmogrified water and shake it until it dissolves. Give your cucumbers a good wash and put the spices and garlic into the jar. Pierce the cucumbers with a fork a few times so the brine will penetrate into them. Squeeze the cucumbers upright into the jar (with the horseradish) and place the dill on top.

Fill the jar with the brine and make sure that everything is covered, leave about a half inch space from the top of the jar. Close the jar tightly and place the jar in a warm spot in the kitchen for a few days. Bubbles will start appearing which shows that the fermentation has begun. Place the jar in a cool place (cellar if you have one) for about six weeks before you eat them.

I have just tasted my first homemade lacto-fermented pickle and I wish I had made more! I didn’t have horseradish when making my first batch so they are pretty soft, but the taste sure makes up for that. I will try it with the horseradish next time and see if they come out firmer or not. These pickles are great for helping to digest a heavy meal. For more information about lacto-fermentation please read this article.

This recipe is also part of my recipe card collection. It makes a great gift as the recipe is inside the card with the beautiful pickles on the front. Please buy one here and thanks a million for supporting this website!

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Pamela

    Just ran across this and found it fascinating. Would love to try sometime. Not sure where I could have them at such a warm room temp. Thanks for the video. I found it very informative.

  2. peter young

    I just posted a youtube video on lacto-fermented pickles. A little less salt, and no horseradish.


    1. hellaD

      Wow this is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing. I love your crocks. So simple and yummy :) Definitely tweeting this video.

  3. hellaD

    I use the standard metal canning lids, that seems to be no problem, as generally the pickles get eaten up quickly.

    1. muriel

      Thanks hellaD. We have been making them for years but many times they go bad. So I hope that this time they all work out. Even soaked the jars in my bucket of wine-bottle-cleaning solution.

      I have tried one jar with a metal lid. It will be good if it works cause I have run out of the jars that use the glass lid and rubber seal.

      1. hellaD

        Yeah–I was thinking–if I was making huge batches or selling them glass tops would be much better as it is hard to guarantee the metal wont start to get eaten away eventually.

        One thing that does help a bit is to make sure there is about an inch of space between the liquid and the lid and that all the pickles are completely covered with liquid…

  4. muriel

    Do you use the standard canning jars with metal lids? Or the Gem jars with glass lids and rubber rings?

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