Monday, October 5, 2015

Hungarian Sun Pickles (Kovászos uborka)

Hungarian Sun Pickles
Kovászos Uborka
first day outside!

Mmmm pickles. I love pickles, be they in vinegar, brined, cucumber, okra, etc. My all time favorite, though, would have to be the Hungarian Sun Pickles. I have fond memories of eating them as a child, and they have quite a unique flavor. Every summer now I buy (or grow) pickling cucumbers, and make at least one batch of this delicious pickle. The funny thing is, when I last went to make them, I searched my blog to find the recipe, and realized that I haven't added it yet! So here it is. 

Hungarian Sun Pickles
Yes, that is parsley, not dill. And a grape leaf. Please see notes. 

Ingredients

  • 8 cups filtered or bottled water
  • 1/2 cup of salt (kosher, sea, or canning is best)
  • Dill (Fresh, dried, or just the seeds)
  • 3 or more garlic cloves
  • Rye Bread (really any bread will work, but Rye is traditional)
  • Enough Pickle-sized cucumbers to fit your jars. 
  • optional- hot peppers
Instructions
  1. Bring Water to a boil, remove from Heat and add salt.
  2. Prepare and Slice the cucumbers- chop off both ends, and then cut- traditional is quartered lengthwise without cutting all the way (so that they remain intact) but spears, chips, whatever works. 
  3. Pack the jars- Dill, peppers (if using), garlic, and cucumbers.  
  4. Pour the warm brine into the jar to cover the cucumbers.
  5. Tuck the bread into the jar and under the lid. The bread creates a barrier from the outside air, adds complex sugars for the ferment, and gives it a unique taste. Make sure to layer the bread to cover any opening. 
  6. Use plastic wrap, a plastic baggie, or cheesecloth to cover the top, and secure with a rubber band. Pierce a few holes if using plastic wrap or plastic baggies. This is to let air escape, but keep the pests out. 
  7. Set outside during the day for 1-4 days, depending on the heat, and let ferment. 
  8. When fermentation is done, scoop out the bread, and store in the fridge. If you want to make sure and get all of the bread, dump the contents into a bowl, repack everything except the brine, and then pour the brine back into the jar through a sieve. The milky yeast is normal at the bottom of the jar. 
  9. Enjoy! 

The finished product!
Notes: 

  • This pickle turns soft quick. Although I made 4 jars in my pictures, I regretted doing so because I ended up having to use the last pickles for dips and soups. Just make one jar at a time, and enjoy within a week. 
  • Because I live in Italy, I cannot find Dill anywhere. I'll have to grow it myself for next year. So in this batch (in the pictures) I used parsley instead. Although not bad, it's no substitute for Dill. 
  • This last batch I also tried to use a grape leaf in the jar to help keep the pickles from going soft (I had read about the technique on the internets), but it didn't seem to help. 
  • I also used whatever bread I had in the pantry this time- which turned out to be a wheat and a hard white bread. Still turns out a great pickle. :-)
  • For more information please visit: One of my Sources 

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