Boza — Sourdough Starter Recipe


Boza is sweet, viscous and mildly fizzy fermented drink.

Making and drinking boza is deeply routed in the Balkans’ history. Boza is still a very popular drink in Bulgaria and the surrounding countries to this day.

Boza has many nutritional and healthy benefits as well as other rumored positive effects on the human body.

Boza is made from baked (roasted) flour, white, wheat or millet, and has a mild pleasantly sweet and slightly sour taste and thick consistency.

Boza is very easy to make. If you have never had it, then I suggest make some today and thank me later. And if you have previously had it — then I know you are already ecstatic that you found this recipe.


This is what you need in order to make boza:

  • Flour — 6 oz | 3/4 cups | 170 g. All-purpose flour works great.
  • Sugar — 8 oz | 1 cup | 225 g. I like to use brown sugar but you can use white or mix of white and brown if you want your boza sweeter.
  • Water — 2 quarts | 2 Liters.
  • Active sourdough starter — 1.5 oz | 1/5 cup | 45 g
    Or if using discard or sourdough starter directly from the fridge — 2 oz | 1/4 cup | 55 g
  • Flavorings — boza is perfectly fine without any but you could try it with some gum arabic, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, mint, etc


Step 1

Spread the flour on a baking sheet and roast it in the oven at 430°F / 220°C for 12 mins.

Take out half way through and mix it a bit so it roasts more evenly.

The flour should be tan (beige) in color at the 12th minute and should have a nice aroma of roasted nuts. If you like your boza darker with more nutty taste, bake it a bit longer so it gets darker.

Your boza will be the color of the baked flour.

Note: If you want more control over this process, roast the flour in a pan on the stove. Just heat up the pan and add the dry flour in it when hot. Then stir continuously until cooked to the desired color / aroma.

Step 2

Sift the roasted flour through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl.

Add 1/4 of the water (0.5 quarts / 0.5L) to it and whisk until it mixed well.

Step 3

In a large enough pot, add the sugar to the rest 3/4 of the water (1.5 quarts/1.5L) and heat on the stove, occasionally stirring, until sugar dissolves.

Step 4

Slowly pour the flour/water mix from the bowl into the pot with water and sugar, while continuously stirring.

Now is the time to add any flavorings that you’d like. I like mine natural flavor or with just a tad of gum arabic for its unique taste.

Keep on stirring until the mixture starts boiling. Then decrease heat to a gentle boil. Keep stirring and gentle boiling for 10 mins. Make sure there are no clumps in it, break any that might appear.

The mixture will slightly thicken.

Step 5

Turn off heat and let cool to about 80-84°F / 27-29°C degrees then add the starter. You want it to cool down first because higher temperature will kill the bacterias and yeasts in the starter.

Stir the starter in well so it dissolves completely.

Step 6

Leave in pot or pour into bottles. If using bottles, find some with large necks so you can easily pour boza out — it is viscous. You can cap the bottles now or cover them with a towel to protect the boza.

Leave on the counter for 6-8 hrs. Shake the containers gently but well every two hours (or turn the bottles upside down, if capped of course).

Step 7

Move to the fridge. The fermentation process slowly continues there.

In about 24 hours your boza will be ready.

Consume within 2-3 days.



Here are the same boza making instructions with pictures


Bake the flour in a baking sheet.


Sift the roasted flour to remove any clumps.


Add 1/4 of the water (0.5 quarts / 0.5L) to it and mix well.


Dissolve the sugar into the rest of the water.


Add the flour/water mix. Stir while gently boiling, for about 10 minutes. Mixture will slightly thicken.


Turn off heat and let cool to about 80-84°F / 27-29°C. Add the sourdough starter. Stir well so it dissolves completely.


Pour into containers. Leave on the counter for 6-8 hrs, shaking the containers every couple of hours.


Move to the fridge for a day. Enjoy sweet slightly fizzy goodness!


Boza will gradually ferment more and become more and more carbonated and more sour. That’s its natural course of life.

Since boza is a fermented drink it has a slight alcohol content (~0.5-1%).

When drinking it, let it coat your palate and gently flow around in your mouth so you can taste that unique, sweet and pleasantly fermented taste with all your taste buds.

Boza is heirloom, which means you can use some of it in order to make new boza. Simple replace the starter with a cup of previously made boza in the recipe above.

Boza goes well with any breakfast meal, and especially with pies, banitsa (cheese pie), sweet or salty snacks, desserts, etc.

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