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Classic Sauerkraut

Classic Sauerkraut


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The unique taste and healing properties of cabbage were discovered by the Slavs during the period of active cultivation of this plant on their land plots.

Mastering the simplest recipe for making cabbage (pickling) made it possible to include it in the daily diet in winter and autumn in order to replenish the body with vitamins of group C and microelements.

The main conditions for a deliciously prepared fresh cabbage preparation are:

  • selection of late-ripening cabbage varieties, since the sugar content in them is twice that of mid-ripening ones, which significantly improves the fermentation or fermentation process
  • thorough processing of the head of cabbage before use, which consists in removing green leaves and contaminated areas;
  • the head of cabbage should be medium in size and even in shape;
  • the container for fermentation should be wide due to maximum contact with air for better fermentation;
  • the stump should not be used in fermentation: nitrates and other harmful substances accumulate in it.

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Choosing a container for salting

An ideal container for pickling cabbage will be any wooden tableware: a trough, a barrel, a tub or a vat.

Since ancient times, wooden containers for pickles have been made of oak or linden wood.

The tannins contained in the bark of oak will not only preserve the original taste of the vegetable, but also significantly improve it.

Linden is also optimal for fermentation, as its wood has excellent antimicrobial properties and does not change the taste of the finished product.

The use of conifers is prohibited: the resin will spoil the taste of cabbage and give it an unpleasant aftertaste.

If the barrels are empty for a long period, then it is worth pouring over them with boiling water or treating them with an alkaline solution (water and soda).

You can also fumigate with sulfur, but this process requires patience and careful preparation. It is enough to fill a new container with water and leave it for 10-20 days, periodically changing the settled water to fresh one.

Modern housewives often face difficulties in finding wooden containers. In this case, use wide pots or sterilized glass jars of different sizes.

Cabbage slicing options

Cabbage for cooking according to the classic recipe is cut into longitudinal cubes, thin strips, chopped into large pieces, squares or triangles. The smaller the pieces of cabbage, the faster it will be cooked.

However, for a richer flavor, large chunks should be cooked. First, cut the stump with a sharp knife, and then divide the head into four equal shares.

Culinary experts advise making transverse cuts, as this will allow the cabbage not to lose its attractive appearance when cutting.

For strips, the optimal size is 2-4 cm, and for pieces, 4-6 cm in diameter. When chopping, hold the head of cabbage firmly against the cutting surface to prevent the knife from slipping off and injuring you.

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Classic recipe

This recipe is quite laborious and will take a considerable amount of time. The following foods must be prepared in advance:

  • 3 heads of cabbage pounds;
  • 3 tbsp. l. salt (better than coarse grinding);
  • 2 tbsp. Sahara;
  • pure cabbage leaves (10-20 pieces);
  • allspice peas to taste;
  • 7 pieces of carrots;
  • 6-9 pieces of medium-sized bay leaves;
  • wooden container;
  • wooden circle and pestle;
  • a piece of linen or gauze.

Chop or chop the cabbage and carrots into equal pieces. Cooked vegetables are placed in layers in pre-prepared tubs in 4-5 steps.

Before putting the cabbage in wooden containers, you should carefully knead it with salt by hand. In this case, the release of juice will be more active. Wait until the grains of salt are completely dissolved in the juice.

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Next, put a layer of dense cabbage leaves on the bottom of the barrel and put chopped cabbage on them. After each bookmark, the mass is tamped with a long wooden pestle, thereby promoting the release of juice.

Place chopped carrots between layers. If desired, add Antonovka apples, pepper, coriander, onions, etc. to a wooden container.

When pickling according to the classic recipe, sometimes the rows of chopped or chopped cabbage are shifted in halves of cabbage.

When you fill the wooden container to the top, cover the last layer with cabbage leaves and a piece of cloth. Place any heavy load on the cloth: a stone, a can of water, a filled pot, etc.

The cargo will contribute to the fact that the cabbage-carrot mass will settle and become covered with the resulting marinade. It is worth increasing the weight of the load if the brine has not risen above the level of the cabbage.

An important factor in the fermentation process is the temperature of the room in which the container is stored. The optimum temperature is 19-24 degrees.

At this temperature, fermentation can take about 7 days. After a couple of days, the first signs of fermentation begin to appear - bubbles or foam. You should pierce the cabbage with a birch stake to the bottom every two days so that excess gases come out.

If the workpiece stops actively foaming, then the wooden circle, cloth, cargo are removed and new cabbage leaves are placed on the surface of the wooden container.

One of the main signs of a properly cooked cabbage is a white, yellowish or amber color and a smell that does not hurt the sense of smell. The consistency of the brine varies from cloudy to light transparent.

A barrel of cabbage should be placed in a cool room, the load is reduced and stored at a temperature of no more than +6 degrees. During storage, it is necessary to ensure that the brine constantly covers it.

Mold may appear on the surface, which is carefully removed, and the wooden circle, load and gauze are washed with boiling water from time to time.

The most important thing is careful adherence to technology and the selection of quality ingredients. To maximize the taste of sauerkraut, it should be served with meat and fish dishes, seasoned with high quality vegetable oil.


Watch the video: How to Make Authentic Fermented Sauerkraut Free Book! (May 2022).