Crunchy, Sweet, and Tangy Bread and Butter Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe from @whiteonrice

I love bread and butter pickles. That sweet tangy crunch layered into burgers, diced in tunafish sandwiches, or just grabbed straight out of the jar and snacked on. As a kid it was the only pickled thing I really liked. Dill pickles, pickled onions, pickled beets, etc… Ick. Or at least that’s what my palate at a minion’s age thought. 

Since then I’ve come to love and appreciate many other pickles. Especially after spending nearly 2 decades with a Vietnamese woman. It seems like the Vietnamese pickle just about anything and Diane’s mom and, of course Diane, are seriously good at it. But my first and true pickle love is still the bread and butters.

Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe for Burgers and Sandwiches from @whiteonrice

Of course not all B&B pickles are the same. Most all have a good flavor, some just varying in sweetness or maybe given a spicy kick. But the real test for me is the crunch. The make-or-break factor for my favorite pickles is all about a great crunch. 

Out of the commercially-made pickles I love Bubbies the most. Their Bread and Butter Chips are always a staple in our fridge. I want to love so many of the different artisan or homemade pickles I’ve tried but so many times they have a lifeless texture. Where’s the coveted crunch? Maybe I just haven’t found the right one.

Easy Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe from @whiteonrice

The last few summers we’ve finally gotten our garden cucumbers to their happy place and we’ve been getting quite the harvest. Usually growing either Persian cucumbers or Japanese cucumbers (unless the starters at the nursery have been mislabeled – had one of those this year). The Persian and Japanese cucumbers have such a great crunch, even if we lag a little in picking them from the vines. 

However I’ve been a bit hesitant about making pickles out of them. What if I suck at pickling them and they have that lifeless softness? It would be such a waste. How do you keep that crunch when you pickle them?

Easy Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe on @whiteonrice

So this summer I was determined to figure it out. After consulting the pickle masters (Diane and her mom, of course- their pickled stuff is the crunchiest), I had a plan of action. Salt it and let it sit for an hour or two. Rinse, pat dry, and then let it sit out overnight to dry out a bit more. Then finish with the pickling brine and jar ‘em up. 

I’m happy to report that the pickles are badass. Great crunch, great flavor. With the cucumbers growing like monsters in the garden this year, I might not be buying any Bubbies for quite some time. Sorry Bubbies. 

Enjoy!

Todd

Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe

Yield: Makes 4-5 cups

Total Time: 2 hours + overnight drying

Use a really crunchy pickle to start. Either Persian or Japanese cucumbers. Or a good English cucumber if you can't find the other varieties. Personally, we rarely find good, crunchy "Pickling" cucumbers so we always pass on using them. But if you find or grow nice ones, they'd work great too. We let the cucumber slices sit out overnight covered in paper towels after salting them to help them dry out a bit more and develop a nice crunch. They may look a little too dried out in the morning, but when you add them to the vinegar mixture, they will re-hydrate perfectly. If you are pressed for time you can skip the overnight drying, but your pickles won't have the same crunch.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds (1365g) crisp cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60g) kosher or sea salt
  • 2 cups (480ml) white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water
  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) tumeric

Directions:

  1. Place the cucumbers and onions in a colander resting in a large bowl or in the sink. Toss with the salt and let stand for 1-2 hours (the cucumbers will release a lot of water during salting).
  2. Rinse the cucumbers and onions and then place in a single layer on a couple of sheet pans lined with paper towels. Cover with another layer of paper towels and let dry overnight.
  3. The next day, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and turmeric in a large saucepan. Heat to a boil, add the cucumbers and onions, and then continue heating until it returns to a boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and immediately place the cucumbers and onions in sterilized canning jars. Top with the vinegar mixture and seal the jars according to manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Allow to sit for several days before opening to allow the flavors to fully develop. Best served chilled.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.


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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Cecili

    Do you place the pickles in the fridge overnight or do you leave them out?

    1. Todd & Diane

      Hi Cecili,
      We usually put the pickles in the fridge before we are going to serve them so the have that nice chilled crisp. Plus we’ll keep the jar we have opened (broken the canning seal on) in the fridge.
      Hope that helps.
      T & D

  2. Andy

    I’m curious if these need to be stored under refrigeration prior to opening and how long they might keep before they are opened?

    Thanks!
    Andy

    1. White on Rice Couple

      We store ours in the pantry until we are ready to open the sealed jar. The should keep good texture for about 6 months before opening.

  3. Barbara

    How many jars does this recipe make? Thanks!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      It is for 4-5 cups of pickles, so depending on which jars you use, it will vary. We usually use 2 widemouth pint canning jars, and then if there is extra put the rest in a half pint.

  4. Christina Davis

    Could you still use this recipe as refridgerator pickles?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Hi Christina,
      It should work fine for refrigerator pickles. Have fun!

  5. pam (Sidewalk Shoes)

    Pinned! I love Bread and Butter pickles!

  6. Renia Carsillo

    I make dill pickles all the time, but never tried sweet. This one’s going on the list for the week. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Ali

    Did you can these in a boiling water bath, or just put them into the fridge? I usually just do fridge pickles because I don’t like how soft the pickles get when you boil them.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      We didn’t do a boiling water bath. I sterilized the jars and had them hot when adding the liquid. Then after adding the pickles and juices to the jars, there was enough heat to seal the jars. Not sure if it is the best way, but it works for us.

  8. Jennifer G

    Those look really delicious! I love the lighting and spectral highlights.

  9. Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog

    I just made Bread and Butter Pickles last week! I’d never even heard of them (I’m from the city, so I get a little slack, right?) but after having made them with fresh ingredients from the farmers market I can’t get enough! I’m totally going to try your version when I finish the ones I made! Such pretty photos you got!

  10. Kelly J

    I made these and after removing from the canner realized I forgot the turmeric. They look lovely anyway but how will it effect the flavor?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Hi Kelly,
      The flavor will be a little different but it should still be good. Hope you like it.

  11. Lizthechef

    This is the bread and butter pickle recipe I have been looking for all summer – wonderful.

  12. Elsie

    Can this recipe be scaled?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Hi Elsie,
      The recipe is really easy to adjust to different amounts of cucumber. Just use a generous amount of salt when drying out the cucumber slices and then make enough of the pickling juice to cover the pickles when you jar them. That’s it. Enjoy.

  13. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    You guys can even make pickles look TRULY amazing! Your photography blows me away every.single.time! Pinned :) Love bread and butter pickles!

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