Bread Kvass with Blackcurrants ( хлебный Квас смородиновый) is a delicious fermented rye bread drink recipe, sweetened with fresh blackcurrants. A perfectly refreshing drink, a twist on a traditional Russian Kvass.
This recipe can be made with many different ingredients and in different ways. A different healthy version is made only with beets and is naturally fermented and full of probiotics. The most popular recipe is made with dark Russian Rye bread, and is sold commercially in soft drink bottles, like a Russian Coca-Cola!
Traditionally made with a Russian Rye called black bread. The darker the rye, that is what impacts the color of the Kvass. This Black Currant Kvass is a bit of a different way of enjoying Kvass. A bit of a summer fruity twist. Not sweet, but a flavored non-alcoholic bread beer.
Kvass is enjoyed in Northern Slavic countries, Central Asia and the Baltic States. In Lithuania, its called Gira.
Is Kvass alcoholic?
Traditionally Blackcurrant Kvass is made by fermenting Blackcurrant juice with yeast, a fizzy fermented fruit drink. I think it's much tastier with with the depth that a rye bread provides, and more refreshing too! Kvass is classed as a non-alcoholic drink, usually containing about 0.05% alchol in it, like your de-alcoholized beer in the grocery store.
You don't need to use fresh blackcurrants from the garden (nice if you have them). I used frozen blackcurrants from the grocery store, as fresh blackcurrants are hard to find here! I miss having them growing at the backyard and dacha in the summer! Fun fact, Black currants were once illegal in the United States, so not everyone is familiar with this European fruit. Homemade Blackcurrant Juice is one of my summer favorites, we also make blackcurrant jam too.
A refreshing summer Kvass drink made from Rye Bread and Blackcurrants, fermented and non-alcoholic. Like a homemade beer, but sweeter and healthier. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- ½ loaf of dark Rye bread 350g, the darker the better
- 250 g fresh black currant berries
- 5 litres of water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons brewer's yeast 7 grams or 1 packet
- 2 teaspoons of raisins
- Fill large stock pot with 5 litres of water and bring to a boil.
- In a bowl, muddle or mash the black currants berries until they are broken and juice is released.
- Toast the bread on the darkest toaster setting. The darker the toast, the darker the drink will be, a little blackness is ok. (fyi...the smoke alarm might go off)
- When the water is boiled, remove from heat. Add the toast and black currants to the boiling water, cover and allow to cool (better to leave overnight).
- Strain the toasted rye bread and black currants using a cheesecloth.
- The kvass will be cool at this moment. Quickly warm it up on the stove, until it is warm and around 35°C/95°F. Don't use water hotter than 45°C/110°F, or it will kill the yeast. If the water is cold, the yeast won't activate.
- Add the yeast, sugar, and 1 teaspoon of raisins and allow to sit for 6-8 hours. Stir to make sure the sugar is fully dissolved. You will see foam and bubbles start to rise.
- Strain the black currant kvass using a cheese cloth. Put 2-3 raisins in each soft drink bottle and pour and seal tightly. Only fill the bottle about ⅔ of the way, squeezing the sides letting air out, as it will continue to ferment and expand in the fridge. The next day, when the bottle is too tight, open it to release some air out, and squeeze again.
- After about 3 days in the fridge, you're ready to enjoy!