bread and butter pickles

A staple in every home, at home for every picnic. The bread and butter pickle is the quintissential sweet pickle for most occasions. A crowd favorite, guaranteed to please! 

the Signature flavor blend of bread and butter pickles

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Using both white and apple cider vinegars, this pickle tends to the sweet side. The mixture of vinegars is a signature flavor of this pickle. The sweetness is augmented by using a healthy dose of sugar or honey in the pickling solution.


The spice blend for Bread and Butter pickles is pretty standard:

  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon celery seeds
  • 1" piece of cinnamon stick, broken up
  • 8 allspice berries AND a pinch of ground allspice
  • 8 whole cloves AND a pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric for color
  • 1 teaspoon crushed bay leaves (almost to a powder)

Any of these are optional

Ratios: 2+ pounds of cucumbers, 1 medium sliced onion, 1-1/4 c white vinegar, 1 apple cider vinegar, and about 1/4 c salt. 

Spice mixes can be made up in advance and 1-1/2 tablespoon added to each pint jar. 

the process

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Select the cucumbers you want to use. Many recipes specify the Kirby cucumber, but you can use whatever variety you want. If you are cutting the cucumber into spears, a smaller variety works better so they stand as soldiers around the jar. If you are cutting them into slices, it's more important that the seeds be closely packed in the fruit.

Cut your cucumbers, then lay them on a tray or put them in a bowl. Add the salt and thoroughly coat each piece. Set them aside while you prepare your sterile jars and pickling solution.

Rinse them off and lightly dry the cucumber before packing your jars.

Pack your jars

jeffreyw-sighSource: jeffreyw

Place your spices in the jars, then layer thinly sliced onion and your sliced cucumbers in the jars.  If you are making spears, add a little onion every 2nd or 3rd spear. Pour over your hot brine and cap the jars. After water-bath processing, turn the jars over to mix the spices in with the cucumbers to distribute evenly. These are shelf-stable for up to two years.