Google+ What I Made Today: Yogurt

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yogurt


Today, like many other days, I made yogurt. We consume it pretty much daily in one form or another. Even though it's an everyday occurrence there's something about the coming off February that makes it extra special. Not only that, but making it is so simple and so economical that it's actually kind of silly to buy the stuff made, unless you're using it for a starter. It's especially foolish to buy given that the plastic it's packaged in is not accepted by many recycling facilities (though mine does). Besides, to my way of thinking, recycling plastic (among other things) is a pretty inefficient and wasteful practice.

There's many recipes out there for yogurt and you can try those if you like. Many involve the use of thermometers and strict timing dictates. But if you've been following this blog for a while you're already aware that I rarely use recipes, and strict dictates in any form just irritate me. In any event, here's what I do ...

I measure out a quart of milk into a small pot and heat it just to the boil. I remove it from the heat and let it sit until it comes to just above body temp, you know - when it feels mildly warm to the touch, but not at all hot. In the meantime I take about a tablespoon of yogurt from my last batch put it into the bottom of a clean quart jar and give it a loving stir, just to wake it up a little. When the milk is cooled to that perfect warm place I pour a little into the jar and stir it to blend with the yogurt. Then I pour it all in and give it another gentle stir and offer a prayer of gratitude to the magic yogurt faeries (or bacteria if you prefer).

At this point I place it someplace where it will keep warm (around 100-120 F) for several hours. I have a dehydrator that works perfectly for this. I set it to 120F and set the timer for about 4 hours and just leave it overnight. Next day I place it in the refrigerator and once it's cool I enjoy it. Yum!

Not everyone is blessed with a suitable dehydrator, I know. So without one you can wrap your jar in some towels and place it in any warm spot in your home. Or you can place it in a cooler with another jar of very warm water, and close it tight. The rest is the same ... just leave it overnight and chill the next day.

I'll add, too, that you can gently simmer your milk for several minutes over very low heat for a yogurt that tends to be a bit more rich and sweet in flavor. That's my experience anyway, but I prefer a light, more tart yogurt. Actually, I love it anyway it comes out.

You can use raw milk, organic milk, conventional milk, whole, skim or anything in between. You can even add a bit of cream if you like (I do sometimes).

So anyway, that's what I made today and it really is that simple. I hope you'll try it. It's a perfect food to ring in the final full-month of winter. Peace.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

yumm!!!!!!
i've always wondered how yogurt is made!


~bugE

Herbs 'n' Chocolate said...

Oh this sounds way cool. I do not have the suitable dehydrator you have. But I do think I can work with the alternative you mention. This is way cool indeed. But what do you do when starting from nothing? I mean.. I dont have any yogurt handy to use as a start to mix with the milk.

LazyTcrochet said...

That does sound good. I haven't made any in a long time. What is it about February that makes you want yogurt I wonder? I have a yogurt making kit that has a plastic tub and an insulated outer thing. I just forgot how to use it. Maybe I'll try again. Thanks

Laura said...

I would love to try this, but I am too scared. :)

Kitsune Dawn said...

Matt and I have been talking about trying to make yogurt. That sounds great! Now, no more talk!

Mrs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mrsb said...

We pour ours right into a thermos! Keeps it nice and warm and I can leave it right on the counter. Where I won't forget it, lol!

Vincent James Pia said...

OK... you've got me ready to try making it! :-)

I've been addicted to Skyr (strained, thick, creamy yogurt from Iceland) lately. We sell it at work... and I have it for breakfast just about every morning now.

Talk About Home Improvement said...

it's look delicious ? he..he

benconservato said...

oh, you have inspired me to make my own. It always seemed so complicated before. Umm! Sounds perfect.

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

I'm such a scaredy-cat...I'll just keep buying mine, but was very interested to see how you make yours...

Ruth said...

Wow, I didn't know it was that easy to make yogurt! I'll have to print this out and try it sometime! Thanks for sharing Rose.

Meghann LittleStudio said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: You are a GENIUS! Such an inspiration! Here I was, thinking that I'd have to go out and buy a yogurt maker and all of the expensive bacteria to start making it and you have such a simple, effective method! I MUST try this.
Can I use goat's or sheep's milk if I wanted to? Could you let me know if you have a second? My email is: meg(at)littlestudio(dot)ca
Thank you, once again, for inspiring and teaching. You always make my day :)

Sharkbytes said...

I make my own yogurt all the time, by the gallon, and put it in small containers for my snacks. So easy!

Athena's Armoury said...

Wow, this does sound easy! I eat yogurt all the time and hate the plastic waste. I, too, am wondering how you start from scratch. Can you just use a little bit of store bought yogurt to get started? Thanks!

Walk in the Woods said...

To start your own first batch you can use a tablespoon-r-two of plain, active culture commercial yogurt. Make sure it contains "active cultures" and I would say use one that has no additives, even gelatin.

Best wishes!

Athena's Armoury said...

Thank you! I'm looking forward to trying it.