Making kraut can be a bit of a science. Follow the fermentation tips for best results.
Combine cabbage, caraway seeds, and 1 tablespoon salt in a large bowl. Let stand for 20 minutes. Massage to release liquid from cabbage (forming a brine), about 5 minutes.
Pack cabbage mixture into 3 pint-size canning jars, making sure brine covers cabbage by at least 1 inch and leaving 1 to 2 inches of space at the top. Fold and push 1 reserved leaf into each, filling the top space (leaves do not need to be fully submerged).
Close jars tightly, and transfer to a glass baking dish or a nonreactive container with 2-inch-high sides. Let stand in a cool, dark place (64 degrees to 70 degrees) for 5 days.
Slowly open and quickly close jars to gently release built-up pressure, being careful not to let the liquid bubble out. Let stand for 5 more days. Reopen jars to release pressure.
Let stand for 5 more days. Taste to determine if kraut is sour enough. Let stand until kraut is to your liking (we like a 21-day ferment), continuing to open jars every few days to release pressure.
Kraut can be refrigerated submerged in brine for up to 6 months.