Pickles are insanely versatile: we eat them on their own as a snack, as a tasty zing on burgers, and some of us even like them in a sandwich with peanut butter. And if you're already an avid reader of our site, you'd know that we're even crazier about pickle juice and its myriad uses.
But, as with most things in today's overindulgent world, more is more—so I hope I'm not in the minority when I say how pumped I was to discover that you can make bread with both pickles and its juice.
Melanie of Gather for Bread has a fabulous recipe for dill pickle bread that will blow your pickle-loving mind... and the only difference in the baking process is the substitution of pickle brine for water as the liquid ingredient.
Warm water is typically used for proofing the yeast during bread making; when using dormant yeast (also known as active dry or instant yeast), warm water "wakes up" or activates the dry yeast, which then goes on to consume the starches in your dough. The active yeast then "burps" carbon dioxide, which causes bread to rise.
Substituting warm pickle juice is an easy way to get that irresistible flavor into your bread without having to do any extra work—which, in my book, makes this recipe a winner. If you're not ready to commit to a thoroughly pickle-y loaf, you can dilute the pickle juice with water as well. Just make sure to keep the liquid amount the same as the recipe calls for, and you're set!
Although Melanie's recipe calls for the use of dill pickles, you can truly use any pickle that... dare I say it... tickles your fancy. But you'd be hard-pressed to find a flavor as easily available yet sharp and prolific as dill, in my opinion. Bread and butter for some and sweet gherkins for others... but dill is my jam, now and forever.
For those of you that are less daring with your bread recipes but still fans of dill itself, try adding dill seed in your recipe, like in The Creekside Cook's cottage cheese dill bread, to get an equally delicious version that has a hint of onion. It's light in texture, but still sturdy enough to serve as the bookends of a delicious sandwich.
Now that you know you can literally put pickles into your bread, we want to hear about your pickle bread baking experience. Did you stick with dill or try a different flavor or pickle? Let us know in the comments!
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