Yoghurt - homemade and to die for delicious

I have been picking up jars of all shapes and sizes to use
to store herbs and all sorts of stuff.  This one is perfect for
my yoghurt.  I hae two that I alternate.  I also can't resist
collecting coneswhen I see them laying on the ground.
I eat yoghurt every morning for breakfast.  I'm not adventurous (at least about food, I find it a bit of a bore to have to eat constantly) so I always eat strawberry yoghurt.  Last time I was on vacation I got in the habit of mixing my own from the buffet because they didn't have the European style yoghurt that I like.  I used unflavoured yoghurt that had an ingredient label that said something like: "Yoghurt and not much more" (many makes have all sorts of nasty sounding stuff in them) and then I mixed it with strawberry compote, almonds, walnuts, dates and rolled oats and whatever else took my fancy.  Oh, what a breakfast!  Much better than the small cup of yoghurt I had gotten used to.  So when I came home I started to think about making my own.  I've looked a yoghurt makers at stores and I've seen so many recipes through the years  and often thought about it, but... you know.  When you haven't done it, it just seems to be such a bother.

But I found this wonderful website, Smallnotebook.com and blog (I love the clean uncluttered look of it as well as the subject) about organzation and clutter and some really good instructions for making your own yoghurt.  So I just did it!

It was really much easier than I anticipated and the result was a stunningly good yoghurt.  I didn't use any complicated equipment, all you need is a candy thermometer that goes up to 180 F / 85 C, a pot, a jar and the oven.

I only used 600 ml (20 fl oz) of milk for my first try.  I measured the milk into a pot.  Put it on the stove, turned on the heat and waited for it to reach 180 F / 85 C.  It does so when it starts to bubble and threatens to boil over, so watch it carefully.  When that temperature is reached some people try to hold the milk at that temperature and that will supposedly give a thicker yoghurt.  I didn't try to do that, but took the pot off the heat and plonked it into a large bowl with ice and water to cool.  This cools the milk fairly rapidly (which I understand is better) and it should go down to 110 F / 42 C but not colder.  Then I poured some of the milk into a glas jar and stirred in 1-2 tablespoons of store bought yoghurt, unflavoured.  After that I poured in the rest of the milk and stirred the whole thing, gently.  Then I put it in the oven.

Now, my oven has a digital display so I turned it to 45 C.  But I also put a candy thermometer into a glass of water and stuck it in there, just to check the temperature.  It turned out that my oven is colder than it displays, so I turned it up until the candy thermometer read 110 F / 42 C, which turned out to be 50C.

The yoghurt stays in the oven for 7-8 hours and during that time it shouldn't be moved too much.  I did this in the morning and just about freed my oven in time for dinner.  For some people it makes sense to do this late at night and take it out in the morning.  Then the whole thing is put in the fridge to get completely cold.  After that it is ready to eat.

Mine turned out perfect.  Just the way I like it.  Much better than the organic yoghurt that I bought to use as a starter.  That was unusually thin and watery and I was worried that it wouldn't be any good, but that fear was unfounded.  I do not like yoghurt that has been thickened with gelatin or starches, but those who do like that can probably use those to thicken their homemade yoghurt if they want.  I've also seen recipes that used powdered milk in addition to regular and that will make a thicker yoghurt.  I use full fat milk for my yoghurt, but it can be made with reduced fat milk, although why anyone would want that is beyond me.

I didn't add any sugar to the yoghurt, but I defrosted some strawberries and added sugar to those and heated that on the stove.  When it cooled I whizzed it in a blender and put in in a jar in the fridge.  Now  I can make my own blend every morning.  I don't want everything to be mixed together too much, I enjoy the contrast of the sweet strawberries and tart sourness of the yoghurt.  But I have seen recipes that put sugar and vanilla into the milk before it is heated so I guess that is a possibility for those who have a sweet tooth.  I really recommend this to anyone who eats yoghurt.  It's like so many things that just taste completely different when home made.  And this way you know exactly what is in it.

Comments

  1. Good for you for making your own and your right everything tastes better made by hand. I checked out that site you recommended adn it looks interesting.

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