Eating the last pickle doesn’t mean your pickle jar is empty! Consider: pickle juice. The brine is salty, acidic, complex, and sometimes even comes with herbs and spices that can enhance everything from a salad to a cocktail. Or, bread. It’s lovely in bread.
And incorporating pickle juice into your favorite bread recipe is super easy. All you do is substitute some or all of the water with pickle brine and you’re on your way.
I made the perfectly imperfect loaf above by following No Thyme To Waste’s recipe, which you can find here.
The recipe was solid, but my dry yeast, it turned out, was dead and after several hours the dough failed to rise. No matter! After a little kitchen finagling to add some fresh yeast (mixed anew with some warm water and a small amount of flour), the dough was bubbling and sizzling by morning (major credit to my husband for whipping the dough into shape).
Anyway, even with that major, erm, mix up, the bread STILL turned out great, with the seeds from the brine nicely incorporated and a subtle hint of bread and butter pickle in every bite.
Some pickle juice recipes, like this one from Tasting Table, call for the pickles themselves as well, but if all you have is the juice, that’s really enough. And, again, if you have a go-to bread recipe, I highly recommend just subbing in pickle juice for the water. All you get is bonus flavor. Next time, we’re going to try it in The New York Times’s no-knead bread recipe (apologies for paywall!). I’ll report back!
…And now reporting back! The pickle juice worked great in the Times’s recipe!