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Sourdough Bread Kvass Recipe

Make a traditional bread kvass at home with sourdough.

From "Traditional Fermented Foods"
February/March 2019

Total Hands-On Time: 4-10 days

Preparation Time: 10 min

Yield: 3 pints

Photo by Shannon Stonger

This is what I think of when I think of real kvass. Made from stale bread and whatever sugar or fruits you might have on hand, this bubbly beverage has deep roots. It isn’t terribly sweet, nor is it terribly sour. It’s not unlike kombucha in that it’s both pleasant to drink and good for the stomach. Its viscous quality reminds me of a thick beer, and its flavor is truly unique and delicious.


  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup stale sourdough bread, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon sourdough starter or another culture starter, optional


Dissolve sugar in 1 cup water. Add sugar water to a quart jar, along with sourdough bread cubes and molasses. Stir. Fill jar with water, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Add sourdough starter or culture starter if desired.

Seal the jar and leave to ferment for 4 to 8 days, or until tart. Be sure to check the jar daily and burp it as needed to avoid too much pressure in the jar.

Once tangy, strain kvass from bread. If carbonation is desired, bottle decanted kvass in airtight bottles with 1 teaspoon sugar per bottle or 2 teaspoons organic raisins per bottle. Seal the bottles and allow to ferment an additional 1 to 2 days at room temperature.

Refrigerate or serve over ice. Open bottles carefully, as they may be very carbonated.

Fermentation time: 5 to 10 days.

Storage time: Several days at room temperature, 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Recipe and photo reprinted with permission from Traditionally Fermented Foods by Shannon Stonger, Page Street Publishing Co., 2017.

Shannon Stonger, founder of the Nourishing Days blog, holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She and her family live on an off-grid homestead in Texas.

For more on fermented beverages:

Fermented Beverages Your Way: Homemade
Beet and Apple Kvass Recipe
The Pits Soda Recipe


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