*Beware; one bitter cucumber can spoil the entire jar of pickles. I had only one more left when I found a bitter one, so be diligent and taste all the ends [of what you cut off actually]. If one end is bitter, keep slicing bits off until only the sweet tasting part remains. Some cucumbers may have to be discarded altogether.
mid sized cucumbers [minimum 2, maximum 4 pounds]
2 heaping Tbsp salt
4 cups of water
4 stalks of fresh dill with heads
3-4 cloves of garlic
a thick slice of rye bread
• Add a heaping tablespoon of salt to 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
• Let it cool for 5 minutes.
• Meanwhile wash the cucumbers, scrub them if necessary.
• Slice the ends off, making sure not to include bitter cucumbers*.
• Slice into them lengthwise in 3 places so they stay in one piece.
• Place half the dill and 2 cloves of garlic in the bottom of a clean jar.
• Layer the cucumbers standing upright.
• Add the remaining dill and garlic.
• If the jar is very large and there are more cucumbers, layer these on the top too.
• Pour the salt water over the cucumbers and top with the bread.
• Make sure the bread is wetted.
• Retain the leftover brine for topping up later.
• Cover the jar with either cheesecloth or with a saucer to keep the bugs out.
• Place in the sun for several days.
• The water will turn cloudy during fermentation.
• Make sure the cucumbers are always submerged in brine; some brine will spill over during fermentation. When it does, top it up with the saved brine.
• If the weather remains good, the cucumbers will stop fermenting in about four days.
• Test before ending the fermentation process though.
• The pickles should be pleasantly sour and not too soft, giving a little resistance when bitten into.
• Discard the bread and remove the pickles and rinse them.
• Pack them into smaller jars and cover with the sieved fermentation water.
• Pickles will keep for 3 weeks in the refrigerator.