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The Hirshon Jewish Half-Sour Dill Pickles - האַלב זויער פּיקלע

The Hirshon Authentic Jewish Half-Sour Dill Pickles – זויערע וגערקע

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 8 cups bottled water (do NOT use tap, which is chlorinated!)
  • 4 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. pickling salt (78 grams)
  • 2 lb. firm Kirby pickling cucumbers, both ends sliced off to prevent softening (between 12 and 16, approximately)
  • 12 peeled garlic cloves
  • 2 quarter-sized pieces of ginger, same thickness as the coin
  • Two slices of peeled horseradish root, about the size of a Kennedy 50 cent piece, 1/2″ thick and cut in half (optional but recommended)
  • 3 dried chiles de arbol
  • 6 Tbsp. homemade pickling spice
  • 4 Tbsp. top-quality black tea
  • 4 bunches dill
  • 2 Tbsp. dill seeds
  • The heel of a sour rye bread with caraway seeds (optional but recommended)
  • ***
  • Homemade Pickling Spice
  • 2 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. dill seed
  • 2 Tbsp. allspice berries
  • 2 Tbsp. nigella seeds (optional but recommended)
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 11 bay leaves, crumbled
  • ***
  • Cheesecloth and kitchen twine


  1. In a medium pan, combine water and salt. Bring to a boil and heat until the salt is fully dissolved. Set aside and let the brine fully cool before using.
  2. Wash Kirby cucumbers well. Pack them into the pickling vessel with the garlic cloves, all remaining ingredients except the bread heel (if using) and the specified amount of pickling spice. Pour the cooled brine over the cucumbers and add the bread (if using). If using TFD’s preferred pickling crock, add the included glass weights and cover the top of the vessel with cheesecloth, and tie it around the mouth of the vessel to secure it.
  3. Put the pickling vessel it into a corner of your home that’s cool and out of direct sunlight. Check the vessel every day to ensure that the cucumbers remain submerged in the brine. After 1 ½ days, remove the bread heel (if using) and discard.
  4. After 4 days, taste a pickle (remove it with CLEAN tongs). It should be crunchy, lightly sour, and salty, with an aroma of both garlic and dill. If you prefer a more sour flavor, let the pickles ferment up to 3 days more, tasting daily. When you’re happy with the flavor, remove from the pickling vessel and place the pickles into clean jars along with the brine. Then, refrigerate the pickle jars. The pickles will remain half-sours for up to 2 weeks.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours


  • Calories: 419.02 kcal
  • Sugar: 9.32 g
  • Sodium: 2061.07 mg
  • Fat: 9.11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.38 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 77.2 g
  • Fiber: 13.37 g
  • Protein: 14.67 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
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