RECLAIMING REMAINS: REPURPOSE LEFTOVER BREAD INTO KVASS

Crumbs of Comfort

Long before the days of canned kombucha and yoghurt drinks, kvass was the probiotic drink of choice. Dating back to as early as the 10th century, the exact origins and history behind kvass – derived from a Proto-Slavic word translating to ‘leaven’ – are mostly subject to folklore. The story behind this traditional European drink’s discovery lay in the hands of an unfortunate farmer, who attempted to dry and mill his wet bag of grain. However, as the resultant flour couldn’t be used to make bread, it was left to ferment in hot water, giving rise to this creation. To this day, kvass is often enjoyed as a soda substitute and is still consumed widely across Slavic and Baltic countries.

A Gut Reaction

Promoted for its health benefits, kvass contains a multitude of vitamins, amino acids and microelements. These aid digestion and boost overall metabolism, while maintaining the health of both the cardiac and circulatory system. It’s no surprise, then, that it remains a steadfast mainstay in European supermarkets. While it remains lesser-known in Asia compared to its other fermented counterparts, the rise of both consumer health consciousness and the demand for these drinks has made kvass a useful brew for both cafes and bars alike. Made traditionally from rye, flour and hot water, it’s an easy yet effective way of adding an extra tang to suit your customers’ tastes.

Raise A Toast

Because of its simple preparation, kvass is an undemanding, useful way of repurposing your stale or leftover bread. Generally, it takes around two to seven days to produce kvass, depending on its surrounding temperature and sugars added to the mix. With mellow, acerbic notes and a subtle salinity that underpins its overall taste, kvass is perfect when mixed into drinks, pairing particularly well with crisp, fresh flavours such as juices and herbs. As a cocktail companion, it delivers a potently earthy flavour that complements hard alcohols from light, smoky mezcals to darker, fruity brandies. With its compatibility capacity, kvass is easily tailored to suit anyone’s tastebuds, whether at the bar or brewed right at home.

Kvass

 

Ingredients

  • 100ml MONIN Pure Cane syrup
  • 110g leftover rye bread (or other bread varieties)
  • 12.5g raisins
  • 5g bread yeast
  • 2.4l water

Equipment

  • Two 1.5l plastic soda bottles
  • Cheesecloth
  • Funnel

 

Preparation

  • Pour the water into a pot and bring to a boil
  • Toast your bread until dark
  • Take the pot off the heat and add the toasted bread in
  • Let it sit at room temperature for 8 hours
  • Strain the kvass mixture into a bowl and discard the bread
  • Add syrup, yeast, and raisins into the mix
  • Cover with a plastic wrap and let it sit for 6 hours
  • Strain out the raisins
  • Using a cheesecloth and a funnel, bottle the kvass and seal loosely
  • Store in the fridge to cool
  • After a day in the fridge, seal the bottle lid tightly

Sloe Lychee Kvass

 

Ingredients

  • 20ml Le Fruit de MONIN Lychee
  • 90ml kvass
  • 20ml sloe gin
  • 30ml soda water
  • 10ml lemon juice

Garnish

  • Mint leaves

 

Preparation

  • Combine Le Fruit de MONIN Lychee, sloe gin and lemon juice into a glass
  • Stir well to mix
  • Add ice
  • Add kvass and soda water
  • Garnish to serve