Recipe to easily transform cucumbers into probiotic rich fermented pickles without any sogginess.
Slice cucumbers and set aside. Be sure to discard the slice with the blossom end as this is where enzymes are located that can contribute to soggy pickles.
Place garlic cloves, dried bay leaves, and fresh oak, bay or grape leaves at the bottom of a clean 1/2 gallon mason jar.
Place sliced cucumbers on top of seasonings. Mix sea salt, liquid whey or sauerkraut juice with the quart of water (or a water/vinegar mixture if you prefer a more vinegar flavor to your pickles) into the fermentation brine water and carefully pour over the top of the cucumbers.
Leave about an inch at the top of the jar and screw on the lid. Add optional fermentation weights to keep cucumbers beneath the surface of the water. This will help prevent mold.
Leave fermented cucumbers on the counter for 2 days. After 2 days, remove one cucumber slice with a clean fork and taste. If it is crunchy and pleasantly sour, then refrigerate. Your pickles are done. If not, leave on the counter for another day, tasting each additional day to determine when the pickles taste pleasantly sour and are yet are still crunchy.
If a small bit of of mold is on top of the brine water, it’s not a problem. Just remove it and refrigerate. If there is a lot of mold with long tendrils down into the water, the batch has not taken properly. Discard and try again using more starter and/or vinegar with your next batch or use fermentation weights as a preventative.
Fermented cucumbers, aka real pickles, will last several months in the refrigerator.
1 pint filtered water and 1 pint organic apple cider vinegar that has been boiled and cooled may be substituted for the quart of filtered water. This will result in a more commercial taste to the healthy pickles.
1/2 cup liquid whey may be substituted for the raw sauerkraut juice.
Fresh bay or grape leaves may be substituted for the fresh oak leaves.