A Cooking Post: Yogurt
Yes. Homemade yogurt. Another food that’s super easy to make, but most people think it comes from small plastic cups in the dairy case. With lots of sugar, fake color, and thickening agents.
Here’s how I do it.
Start with milk. I use Strauss whole milk. Strauss is good because they don’t ultra-pasteurize or homogenize. So the milk is still receptive to bacteria.
Don’t say ewwww. You need bacteria to make yogurt. You need bacteria to digest your food.
Oh, did you notice the milk comes in a glass bottle? I just think that’s cool.
Back to making yogurt. Step 1: heat the milk to 180 degrees. I do this over medium heat. It takes about 20 minutes.
Ignore the temperature on my thermometer. You don’t want 65.4 degrees, you want 180. I just forgot to take a picture when it read 180.
Step 2: Cool the milk to 114 degrees. I pour the hot milk into my yogurt bucket and let it cool in that. It’s probably a good idea to place the bucket in ice or cool water, so it cools down faster. I don’t bother and I’ve never had a problem. But for true food safety… use the ice. Stir the milk and check the temperature often.
Step 3: Add yogurt starter. This can be a starter you purchase, such as the box shown here, or you can just use about a quarter cup of your last batch of yogurt. Just stir it in. That’s usually what I do.
Step 4: Keep the yogurt warm (about 90-110 degrees) for 5 – 7 hours. I use this nifty contraption from Yogotherm. It’s just a bucket with a Styrofoam insert. The smaller yogurt bucket goes inside it. It makes perfect yogurt.
But I know - Styrofoam - nasty stuff. Very bad for the environment. Some people just wrap their yogurt container in towels or keep it in a gas oven with just the pilot light, or something like that. But I’ve never been lucky enough to have a gas oven, and I don’t trust towels. I like my Yogortherm. It’s wondrous.
For an optional Step 5: After the milk has turned into yogurt, I place a colander in a large bowl and pour the yogurt in there. I wrap it all over in plastic wrap and refrigerate it over night, so that all the liquid whey drains from the yogurt. This gives me lovely, thick Greek-style yogurt cheese. I use the whey to make pancakes. Nothing goes to waste.
It’s sooo good. And you have to admit, it was easy.