Fermented Bread and Butter Pickles

November 19, 2018
Fermented Bread and Butter Pickles
Celeste Longacre


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I love bread and butter pickles. But the general kind of pickle, made with vinegar, lacks the digestive enzymes and probiotics of the fermented ones.

Here is a recipe for how to make these delicious and helpful pickles.

You will need:

3 medium cucumbers

½ cup thinly sliced onion

1 grape leaf

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons home made whey

1 tablespoon sea salt or Himalayan pink

½ cup honey or maple syrup

1 heaping tablespoon whole celery seeds

1 tablespoon yellow or brown mustard seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

½ cup quality water

1 wide mouth quart mason jar

1 Ziploc freezer pint

Recipe direction:

Wash cucumbers and grape leaf and place the grape leaf along the inside of the canning jar. The presence of this leaf helps the cucumbers to stay crisp.



Slice onions into small half-circles and cut cucumbers into thin slices.


Place a few cucumbers in the bottom of the jar, followed by some onion bits. Repeat until the jar is almost full leaving about 2 inches of head space—or air—at the top.


In a small bowl, mix all the other ingredients. Pour over the cucumbers until 1/3 is missing. If the liquid level in the jar isn’t quite 1/3, add more water until it is. Repeat the process twice more until there is about 1 ½ inches of head space at the top. The cucumbers should be about ½ inch below the top of the liquid. Put a small amount of water in the Ziploc bag. Place this on top of the cucumbers to keep them submerged under the juice.


Screw the cap on tightly and leave it on the counter for 2 or 3 days to ferment before storing it in the refrigerator.

Have you ever fermented?  You may also enjoy learning how to make fruit kvass, nature’s soda!

Let me know if you have any questions.

About This Blog

Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens. Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer and gardens by the Moon. Her new book, “Celeste’s Garden Delights,” is now available! Celeste Longacre does a lot of teaching out of her home and garden in the summer. Visit her web site at www.celestelongacre.com for details.

Reader Comments

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Not Sweet At All... Any Idea Why or What To Do...?

I love Bread & Butter Pickles, but have always been disappointed that the ones in the store have no probiotics in them, even the ones from companies that sell Dill Pickles with probiotics like Bubles, so I was thrilled to come across this recipe.

I made up two batches of these. I used a larger Fido Jar for the first batch, perhaps a quart and a half, and a 1 quart wide mouth mason jar for the 2nd and used 1/2 cup of Pure Dark Amber Maple Syrup in both, along with the celery seed, turmeric, and whole yellow mustard seeds.

It's been 5 days now, and I gave them a taste this evening to see how they were coming along and was surprised to find there was no sweetness to them at all. I absolutely added 1/2 cup of the syrup to each mix, as the recipe indicated, but after 5 days of fermenting, there is absolutely no sweetness that I can taste at all.

Have you run into this before...? Do I need to pour out a bit of the brine perhaps and add another 1/2 cup of syrup to each jar...? What would you suggest...? I'm a bit disappointed at the moment, as I had been so looking forward to getting some good sweet and sour chips with the probiotics that I've been looking for for so long, but from what I tasted this evening, right now this recipe isn't doing it... I'd appreciate any suggestions that might help make this recipe turn out right...


No whey?

Can this be made without using whey? Is there a non-dairy substitute?

You can make the pickles

You can make the pickles without the whey, but they won’t ferment and I don’t know how long they will last.

Yes they will

I never use whey on any of my pickles varieties ferment and they ferment better to me as it is a slow process. And they can last in the frig longer than it will take for you to eat them. Months, a year, forever. It is an old process meant to prolong food. People should not post info to others without doing research. I spend tremendous hours pouring over articles and books whenever I learn a different technique of food preservation.

pickling beans and corn

I have relatives in the south who make the most delicious pickled bean and corn mixture. The beans are cooked till just tender, the corn boiled on the cob, then kernels clipped off, and mixed with the beans, and allowed to ferment for several days. Are you familiar with this process? If so, could you please write about it? Thanks for your consideration, I always enjoy reading what you write. Lynne

No, Lynne, I am not familiar

No, Lynne, I am not familiar with this recipe. It does sound good, though. Thanks for your compliments as well.

How long do these pickles

How long do these pickles last? Can you can them (Water bath) after fermenting them?


If you put these pickles in the refrigerator or a cold space, they will last for many, many months. If you can them, they will loose their probiotics and digestive enzymes.

Homemade Whey?

How do you make whey?

making whey

You need to have access to raw milk to make whey. Put it in a jar and leave it on the counter until it begins to separate. This can take two days or seven; it depends upon the temperature in the room and a few other things. Once it has separated, pour it through a strainer lined with cheesecloth above a bowl. The curds will stay in the cheesecloth and the whey will fall into the bowl.


I am allergic to cucumbers so I am.wondering if I could use small zucchini instead?


I don’t see why you couldn’t use zucchini instead. Let us know how it goes!

Can I make these without the

Can I make these without the grape leaf?

grape leaf

Yes, you can make them without the grape leaf. The cucumbers may get soft after a while. Some say that a horseradish leaf also helps to keep the cucumbers crunchy.


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