Kvass (kvas, quass) is probably a bit of unusual drink to this part of the globe.
Indeed, if you read ingredients list: dried rye bread, water, sugar and yeast – it probably will not strike you as something delicious. However this is one of soft drinks which is, according to Wikipedia, popular in Eastern Europe countries, especially Russia, since ancient times.
It is not hard to prepare kvass at home: you just need 2 big cooking pots, a funnel, cheese cloth, rye bread (which can be a bit of challenge to find) and about 3 days. Any type of rye bread will work.
I recently discovered good borodinsky bread in nearby european store, we liked it a lot and now buying pretty often. I dice the bread leftovers and heels and dry them for 10-15 mins in oven; that way I always have dried rye bread for the next patch of kvass ready to go when I need it (and I also don’t need to throw bread out).
Prepared kvass can be stored bottled in fridge; serve it as soft drink or use to prepare okroshka soup.
- 1 gallon of water
- 3/4 – 1 cup of dried rye bread, crumbled
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 pack of dry yeast (about 2 teaspoons)
- Couple of raisins to taste
How to prepare, step-by-step:
- Prepare ingredients: any kind of rye bread will work good for this recipe, just dice and dry it out while storing before use:
- Crumble dried rye bread in blender (or manually, if you don’t have one):
- Pour about a cup of rye bread crumbs into big cooking pot, if you don’t like kvass to be bitter reduce amount to 3/4 of cup; increasing amount of bread crumbs will make color darker as well:
- In another big cooking pot bring to boil 1 gallon of water (I usually measure amount of water with bottle(s) I am going to store kvass in, that way I am always sure bottles and content volumes match):
- Pour boiling water to the cooking pot with bread crumbs and set pot aside at room temperature for about 2-2.5 hours, stir from time to time:
- After 2 hours, when bread and water mixture isn’t that hot anymore, mix dry yeast with about 3 tablespoons of warm water:
- Stir all sugar in to the bread and water mix:
- Add yeast:
- And mix:
- Cover with clean cloth and leave in warm place for 10-12 hours:
- After fermentation for about 12 hours kvass mix will look like this:
- Strain kvass from bread crumbs into clean big cooking pot, use several layers of cheese cloth and colander:
- You will get something like this:
- Now pour kvass into bottle(s) using funnel (plastic bottles are the best choice here because they can handle increasing of pressure during kvass carbonation):
- Leave about 1/8 of the bottle empty:
- Add few dried raisins and screw the lid down tight:
- Leave closed up bottle(s) with kvass at room temperature for 2-3 hours, then put to fridge for 2 days, after that kvass is ready: carefully pour it to glasses (don’t mix sediment and remove raisins) and enjoy: