This recipe produces classic bread and butter pickles—the kind my mom used to make every summer when I was a little mouse. They’re sweet. They’re tangy. They have a fabulous crunch. Like my Quick, Fresh Pickles, there’s no canning required for these babies (in fact, they just need an overnight soak in the fridge). And, honestly, they don’t need to be canned. This recipe only uses about 4 pickling cucumbers. Your pickles will keep for a few weeks in the fridge—which is more than ample time to gobble them up.
Top juicy, grilled burgers with a few pickles. Chop them up for an impromptu relish. Or, you know, just eat ’em straight out of the bowl.
I slice my cukes up with a regular knife. For an extra fancy bread-and-butter pickle, use a crinkle cutter to produce a scalloped edge.
They get their fabulous yellow-ish color from a small dose of ground tumeric (a little goes a long way).
I was out of whole celery seed when I made these this time, so I used ground celery seed (not celery salt) instead. It worked like a charm.
Ground celery seed
Be sure to use a heatproof bowl for your cukes. (You’ll be pouring the boiling brine right over them.)
Oh, about the rice wine vinegar
Rice wine vinegar typically comes in a few different forms, mainly seasoned and unseasoned.
Seasoned rice wine vinegar already has a fair amount of sugar in it. Be sure to get unseasoned rice wine vinegar for this recipe. This lets you to control the sweetness, flavor, and amount of sugar in your pickles.
Classic Bread & Butter Pickles
4 large pickling cucumbers
1 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
6 Tbls. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt (for the cukes) + 2 Tbls. kosher salt (for the brine)
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/4 tsp. celery seed (or ground celery seed)
1/4 tsp. ground tumeric
Makes 4 – 5 cups of pickles (liquid + pickles)
Slice and salt the cucumbers
Grab your cukes. Wash them well under cold water and pat ’em dry.
Nip off each end with a sharp knife and discard. Then cut each cuke into slices.
Make the slices as even as you can, but don’t make yourself nuts.
Toss them into a medium-sized bowl.
Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
Mix them around to distribute the salt.
Let the cukes sit like this on the counter for one hour. This helps to draw water out of the cucumbers, which will help them stay crunchy when they’re pickled.
After about an hour, you should have a fair amount of water in your bowl. Drain the sliced cukes and discard the liquid.
Layer the pickles in a bowl.
Be sure that your bowl is heatproof.
Make the brine
Put the rice wine vinegar, water, and white balsamic vinegar in a medium-sized pot.
Add the sugar and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt.
Whisk to combine. Set the pot on the stove over high heat.
Cook, whisking occasionally, until the sugar and salt completely dissolve.
Leave the mixture on high heat. Toss in the mustard seed, celery seed, and tumeric.
Whisk the mixture occasionally, and cook on high heat until it comes up to a boil.
Pour the brine over the cucumbers
When the mixture boils, take it off the heat. Pour it over the sliced cucumbers.
Let the pickles cool uncovered until they reach room temperature.
Soak the cucumbers overnight
Then cover them with plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge overnight.
The next day, they should be have developed a deeper yellow color and a fairly intense pickle-y flavor.
And that’s it! Your pickles are ready to eat. Keep them in the fridge for a few weeks, if they last that long.
Serve and enjoy!