Polish Dill & Garlic Pickles

This recipe is for a 2.5 liter glass jar; 2 liters = 0.52 gallon.

Source: Maggie Furniss


Very fresh organic Kirby cucumbers (enough to pack the jar tightly)
2 tablespoons
Kosher or pickling salt (NOT sea salt or iodized salt)
2 liters
filtered or bottled water
1⁄2 teaspoon
whole caraway seeds
allspice grains
large laurel leaves (or 3 small)
4 cloves
garlic, roughly chopped
1 bunch
fresh dill (thick stems are great)


Clean the jar (dishwasher works well with sterilize function, or scrub with very hot water).

Prepare the brine by bringing the filtered water to a boil in a clean pot. Turn off the heat, add the salt and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool to room temperature. (This can even be made a day ahead.)

Clean the cucumbers well. Cut off stems if any, and soak in cold water in a bowl or pot for 1-2 hours.

In the bottom of the jar, place the caraway seeds, bay leaves, and allspice. Pack the cucumbers tightly into the jar, upright (on end). Add garlic pieces. Depending on how much space you have in the jar above the cucumbers, prepare a half or whole bunch of the dill. Wash the dill well and cut off stem ends. Roll up the dill and tightly lay on top of the cucumbers.

Place the jar on a dish or container with a lip – spillage will occur as fermentation begins. Pour the salt water (brine) into the jar until cucumbers are completely submerged. It’s okay if the dill is not submerged. You will have brine leftover. Cover the jar opening loosely with a clean lid or a small plate. Oozing of brine is necessary and unavoidable.

Store the jar out of direct sunlight and never on a cold granite/marble counter. In about 24 hours you will observe small bubbles on top and water will look cloudy – this is a good sign that fermentation* has begun. You can eat the pickles as soon as 3 days, but it takes 5-6 days for complete fermentation to take place. If scum forms on top, skim it off. After 5-6 days pickles can go to the fridge.

*Once in a while, for unknown reasons, the fermentation process doesn't occur and you have to throw out the cucumbers. You’ll know to do that if pickles are mushy or give off a funky odor. Don’t get discouraged - try a small amount first and see what works in your kitchen.

Key points:
Clean utensils
Fresh ingredients
Kosher/pickling salt
Submerge cucumbers completely in brine

Interesting tidbit: In Poland, people sometimes add these leaves to prevent spoilage: grape leaf, oak leaf, cherry tree leaf, horseradish plant leaf, or currant leaf.  (Recipe #639)