Kvass: The Champagne of Russia

>> Saturday, February 7

Kvass is a traditional Russian (and eastern European) drink made from stale bread. It is light, refreshing, and tantalizingly fizzy. Plus, it’s fun to have something so tasty from a loaf of rock-hard bread, and with the leftover “pulp” I often make a new loaf of bread with my recycled-bread recipe. Talk about recycling. It just goes on…

This recipe I adapted from Wild Fermentation. If you haven’t read this wonderful book, you should. It is so informative and inspiring, with tons of creative ideas for home ferments!



  • ¾ loaf of stale bread
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 4 tbsp crushed dry peppermint
  • ¼ cup sugar/other sweetener
  • 1 packet dry yeast
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • a few raisins

yummy additions:
ginger, other tea herbs, fruit juices (organic, and no weird corn syrup business), figs

  1. Cut the bread into small cubes and roast in the oven around 350 F (175 C) for 20 minutes or until dried.
  2. Place in a large non-metal container and pour the boiling water over the bread.
  3. Stir in lemon and peppermint, mix well, cover with a cloth, and set in a warm place to ferment for 1-2 days stirring occasionally.
  4. Strain out the bread*, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Add the yeast, sugar, and molasses, combine well, and cover with a cloth again, for 2-3 days, until it smells good and fermented!
  5. Fill bottles ¾ full with the kvass and add a few raisins to each. Seal and leave for 3-4 days on a shelf. Then you can refrigerate or just enjoy the kvass as is. With about 5 more days in the fridge, it has a wealth of super-fine bubbles and tastes wonderful with a slice of fresh lemon.

*Save the pulp for Recycled Gluten Free Bread!

If you want to try another creative Kvass recipe, try Okroshka, cold Russian soup made from kvass and vegetables. I made a live version which I replenished for 2 weeks, enjoying the bubbly tang as it developed over the days. I will post a recipe soon!


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