Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe

Most bread and butter pickle recipes are high in both sugar and vinegar.  Bread and Butter pickles are sweet and sour at the same time.  That’s what makes them the perfect accompaniment to potato salad, burgers, and sandwiches.

This fermented bread and butter pickle recipe uses no sugar and no vinegar.  It has healthy, gut-healing probiotics.  The sweet-sour flavor comes from natural fermentation.

Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe

(Yield: 1 quart)


• 3 lbs. of pickling cucumbers

• 2 onions, thinly sliced

• 2 tbsp. whole mustard seed

• 2 inch piece of fresh turmeric root

• 1 tbsp. Himalayan salt

• 2 cups of boiled and cooled water

• 2 tbsp. active culture from a successful batch of fermented vegetables (optional)


• 1 Fermentools kit

• 1 quart wide-mouth Mason jar

• Wide-mouth ring for the jar


  1. Wash the pickling cucumbers, and rub off any sharp spines.  Remove the stem end and the blossom end and discard.  Thinly slice the cucumbers into uniform slices, about 1/8th of an inch thick.
  2. Peel and slice the onions into uniform, thin slices
  3. Peel the turmeric root with the edge of a spoon.  Slice as thinly as possible with a sharp knife.
  4. Wash and sanitize the jar, and the parts of the Fermentools kit.
  5. Place the mustard seed in the bottom of the jar.  Place alternating layers of sliced cucumbers, turmeric, and sliced onions.  Fill to the top of the shoulders of the jar.  Shake the jar gently to redistribute the contents uniformly.
  6. Add two tablespoons of active culture to the jar.  If you don’t have a successful batch of fermented vegetables yet, see this post to find other ways to get the right lacto-bacteria for a successful batch.
  7. Mix two cups of cooled water and the salt together and stir until the salt is dissolved.  Pour the brine over the contents of the jar.
  8. Using a clean knife, dislodge any air pockets in the jar and top up with more water, if necessary.
  9. Place the glass weight of the Fermentools kit into the neck of the jar.  Gently push down on the glass weight until all the cucumbers and onions are below the surface of the liquid and there is liquid over the glass weight in the neck of the jar.  Leave a one-inch headspace in the neck of the jar.
  10. Place the Fermentools lid, the gasket, and the fermentation lock in place on the jar.  Place the jar on a plate to catch any overflow, just in case.
  11. Keep the jar out of direct sunlight in a warm place.  After 24 to 48 hours the jar will begin to bubble.  The bubbles will begin as fine bubbles and then change to coarse bubbles.  The contents of the jar will rise under the pressure of the active fermentation.  After five to seven days the fermentation will stop.  The contents of the jar will sink.  The pickles are finished fermenting.
  12. At this point, remove the Fermentools kit from the jar and replace the lid with a plastic lid, to prevent corrosion.   Refrigerate the pickles.   You can eat them now or allow the flavors to meld over a month or two.

This Bread and Butter Pickle recipe will keep for up to a year in the fridge, without canning, and retain its crunchiness and flavour.  But they don’t last that long in my house.

Serve them with hamburgers, potato salad, or sandwiches.


At Fermentools, we take pickle-making seriously. For more recipes and instructions for crunchier pickles, see the following posts:

Fermentation and traditional ways of food preservation fascinate Chris. She has been experimenting with microbes since she bought her first San Francisco Sourdough kit in the 1970s. Her repertoire of ferments expanded to include fruit wine and herbal wine making, kombucha and kefir, cheese and dairy ferments, sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as lesser known fermented fruits and vegetables. To feed her fascination, Chris recently took a university course on the Human Microbiome, and gained a new appreciation for the role that lactobacillus plays in human wellness. Chris shares her knowledge with her readers on her blog at

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