Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Yogurt making is quite easy to do.
I got a comment on one of my posts asking how I make yogurt. I do not usually buy yogurt because yogurt here is a dollar per yogurt, making it be a very non cost efficient protein. However, yogurt and its by-product, whey, are very healthy and filled with probiotics; it would be a shame to miss out on the health benefits of yogurt. Making yogurt at home is as cheap as the price of milk so it has helped yogurt be reintroduced into my home.
When I've read instructions for making yogurt, they included all sorts of newfangled equipment that the standard person doesn't own in their home- like a candy thermometer, etc. I don't use any special equipment to make my yogurt and you can make it also easily, without any special equipment.
1)Bring milk almost to a boil. Try to turn off the milk before it actually boils, before it starts getting a skin on top or bubbling over. However, if you let it actually come to a boil, not to worry- it'll still work!
2)Remove the milk from the heat and cool it down. Usually at this point recipes will call for candy thermometers to measure when it gets cool enough to not kill live cultures but still be warm enough for them to multiply. I don't use a thermometer and I have faith in you that you won't need it as well. Wait till the milk cools down to the temperature of a warm shower. Or the temperature that you'd put in a baby's bath. Not too cool, but if the milk isn't comfortable to the touch, its still too hot.
3)Mix in yogurt. You can put in either a few spoonfuls of an old batch of yogurt or a bought yogurt, but make sure the yogurt has live cultures. The yogurt I mix in when I buy it has bifidous and acidophilus.
4)At this point, if you want to transfer the soon-to-be-yogurt to another container, you may do so now.
5)You will want to put the milk with culture in a warm place for 7-10 hours. This warm place can be anything from a dehydrator to an oven on the warm setting to a crock pot to sitting on an electric blanket and covered in towels.
See, I'm a cheapskate. If I don't have to pay to keep the milk warm, I'd rather not. So I don't use my dehydrator or oven or anything electric for that matter to make the yogurt.
Instead, I use the insulation that I talked about in this post to keep the soon-to-be-yogurt warm enough for the cultures to multiply.
I line a cooler (yes, a cooler. A cooler has insulation that keeps the food inside cold but also can also easily retain heat) with a towel as extra insulation. I put the container of warm milk on the towel inside the cooler. Next to the milk I put a hot water bottle. I cover the lot with yet another towel (more insulation) and then close the cooler.
If you don't have a cooler or a hot water bottle, I reckon a thermos would also keep the milk warm enough for long enough for it to turn to yogurt. This yogurt is a little looser than the store bought, so will pour out easily enough.
6)After 7-10 hours (I usually leave my yogurt “brewing” from when I go to sleep at night until I wake up in the morning) take the fresh yogurt from your warm place and transfer it to the refrigerator.
You can enjoy your freshly made yogurt in may ways. As is it tastes delicious. You can add some sweetener and vanilla, some flavored honey, some jam/preserves, You can add some cut up fruit and/or granola and nuts. Or you can make your own homemade yogurt cheese. More posts on what to do with your homemade yogurt to follow.
Have you ever made yogurt? Do you use a candy thermometer? Where do you keep your yogurt warm while making it?