September 20, 2010
Yogurt is so easy to make. We’re on a diet that requires that we use yogurt that’s been cultured for way longer than what you can get in the store. Thus, I’m making it about once a week right now.
What you need:
A bit of yogurt from the store with live active cultures. I use Strauss.
Stirring frequently, heat the milk to 180 degrees.
Still stirring frequently, bring the temperature down to 110 degrees (or a bit less). All the stirring helps to prevent a skin from forming on top of the milk.
Mix the yogurt (roughly 2 T to 1/4 c per quart) into your milk. Make sure that you get the yogurt thoroughly incorporated into the milk. I use a whisk, but very gently. If you use the whisk vigorously, you’ll have a lot of foam on top of the yogurt. Pour into sterilized jars, and secure sterilized lids . Keep at around 90-100 degrees for at least eight hours. I ferment mine in my dehydrator for about 24 hours. From what I understand, you can also use a gas oven. When the oven is off, the pilot light keeps the oven warm enough for culturing yogurt. Store in fridge.
You have to heat the milk to 180 to kill any bacteria in the milk. Because you’ll be leaving the milk at room temperature, you’ll be encouraging bacteria to grow- so you’ll want to make sure that you’re encouraging only good bacteria to grow. This is also why you need to sterilize your mason jars and lids before you pour the milk in.
Now the good part. My favorite ways to eat yogurt are:
– Add honey. Pour honey yogurt over fruit and nuts for a yummy, healthy breakfast. I eat this a lot at night as a dessert.
– Drain yogurt in coffee filters or a tea towel set inside a strainer to make thick greek yogurt. I use the left over whey in fermenting. Any way, use the drained yogurt with some seeded and chopped cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice and a bit of salt to make a great greek dip. I make this whenever I make lamb burgers. So, so good.