Prep 20 mins
Cook 0 mins
An heirloom recipe impractical for most modern cooks. From the Pennsylvania Dutch chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts institute of Chicago, 1947. Posted as a historical novelty. Fermentation time not included in preparation time.
- Wash and scald crock.
- Remove soiled outer leaves from cabbage but do not wash the heads (the wild yeast on the unwashed cabbage are a factor in the fermentation process).
- Shred the cabbage directly into the crock using a kraut shredder or mandolin so that it is not necessary to handle the cabbage.
- The shreds should be long and about the thickness of a nickel, 1/16".
- If cut too thinly, sauerkraut is soft and mushy; if too thickly, it is unattractive in appearance.
- Sprinkle a layer of salt over each 1" layer of cabbage.
- Pack each layer down well, using a potato masher or glass jar.
- When all the cabbage and salt are in the jar, cover with a clean white cloth; place an inverted plate on the cloth and top with as large a piece of limestone as possible.
- The weight of the stone holds the cabbage under the brine that soon forms and the small amount of lime that is dissolved by the brine aids in the lactic acid fermentation which gives sauerkraut is distinctive flavor.
- Allow to ferment from one month to six weeks in a cool place, preferably at a room temperature of 60F (basement, for example).
- A higher temperature speeds fermentation but the kraut is subject to spoilage.
- Skim off any film that may have formed during the fermentation period.
- The sauerkraut may be left in the crock for several months if care is taken that the brine always covers the kraut and that the film is removed eachtime the crock is opened.
- Use a clean cloth each time the crock is covered.
Believe it or not, there are still lots of folks out there who still love to make their own sauerkraut. Too involved for me, plus I've read horror stories about people getting botulism from it, yikes. There is a message board for this, too, sauerkrautrecipes.com, lol..