Christmas is upon us and this is the time of the year when most of us will undoubtedly bake delicious cakes, make salads and cook dishes that cannot be missing on our tables this time of the year. Without a doubt, such dishes include borscht, both red and white. However, before you can cook homemade white borscht or red borscht, you need to have leaven. In the case of both types of borscht, this is their basic ingredient, although we are talking about two completely different leavens here, because the one for white borscht is made from wheat flour, while the one for red borscht is made from beets. In this recipe, I will focus on leaven for white borscht.
Leaven for white borscht is easy to prepare, although not quick, because its fermenting time takes several days. If you want, you can prepare it a little bit in advance and keep it in the fridge or set it about a week before Christmas, as this is generally the time needed to ferment it. The basic ingredients of the leaven for white borscht are wheat flour and water. In addition to these two ingredients, you also add additives such as garlic, allspice, bay leaf, marjoram and often peppercorns. Combine the ingredients of the leaven by mixing them in a jar, then leave them for a few days, stirring them every day, preferably with a wooden spoon. Pour the ready leaven into bottles and keep it in the fridge. I encourage you to try the recipe for white borscht leaven below and I hope you will try it.
Ingredients for white borscht leaven.
- 600 ml lukewarm, boiled water
- 3 big cloves of garlic
- 100 g whole wheat flour
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 allspice berries
- 1 tablespoon of dried marjoram
- 4 black peppercorns
How to make white borscht leaven.
Pour wheat flour and lukewarm water into a dry jar that has been scalded with boiling water. Add peeled and halved garlic cloves, black peppercorns, allspice, bay leaves and dried marjoram. Mix all the ingredients, then cover the jar with gauze or a cloth, tie it with a thick thread or squeeze it with an elastic band and put it on the kitchen counter in a shaded place. The leaven should be fermented at room temperature for 5-7 days, the longer the more sour and intense its taste. The fermented leaven should be stirred at least once every day. Pour the finished leaven for white borscht through a fine strainer into a bottle, close it tightly and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Good to know when making white borscht leaven.
Leaven for white borscht should be made in a larger jar. I use a liter jar for the given amount of ingredients.
Well-fermented borscht leaven has a beautiful smell and this smell should indicate that the leaven is ready for use. I usually pour the leaven into a bottle on the sixth day of fermentation. Around the third day, the smell of borscht leaven may be quite unpleasant, but this is normal, you don’t have to do anything about it, just continue fermenting.
If white foam appears on the surface of the leaven during fermenting, it can be removed, but is not necessary.
White borscht with the above leaven can be prepared both during Easter and Christmas.
Do you like sides for red borscht? If so, try our recipe for Puff pastry patties with cabbage.