Second Draft

Making Yogurt at Home (yeah, I know, nothing to do with writing)

Posted in Food by Jill Snider Lum on Friday, September 18, 2009

Well, there *is* a tag for Food, so I’m going to put a post under it.

Fed up with buying yogurt, and not wanting the hassle of complex yogurt making like my mother used to go through, I looked around and found the easiest, laziest yogurt-making method on earth.  Last night, I put it to the test.

Well, it worked — I’ve got yogurt!  My first batch is not quite as thick nor as sharp-tasting as my favourite brand (and which I used as starter for this batch), but it tastes very fresh and is quite smooth.  If I want it thicker I can strain it, or, for the next batch, use some cream along with the milk, or add a packet of unflavoured gelatin.  I gather the flavour gets sharper as you use successive batches for starter, or if you let it culture for longer than the 8 or 9 hours I had it in for.  It’s delicious, it’s cheap, and it was nearly effortless, so I thought I’d share it with the world at large.

Here is what I did:

Mix 1/4 cup of plain active-culture yogurt with 1 quart of milk (or milk-and-cream combination, or milk with a packet of unflavoured gelatin to thicken further) in a covered container.

(I added some milk to the yogurt first to make a liaison, then stirred that mixture thoroughly into the rest of the milk.  For the container I just used a casserole dish with a layer of tinfoil between the dish and the lid.)

Heat oven to 170 degrees F, then turn off.

(The recipe said 100 to 110 degrees F, but my oven won’t go lower than 170.  Since the milk I was using was still pretty cold, even though I’d left it out for a bit to take the chill off, I figured it was a good trade-off.  If I were using room-temperature milk, 170 would be too hot.)

Put container in oven and leave it there for 8 or 9 hours.

Remove and chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

(This chilling apparently converts the strep bacteria grown in the yogurt into lactobacillus, which is the kind you want.)

That’s all.  The recipes which insist that you scald the milk first, and measure the temperature with a candy thermometer, are evidently carry-overs from the days before aseptic packaging and reliable pasteurization of milk; if you’ve got those things, you don’t need to scald the milk.  Just make sure the containers and utensils used are very clean and have been washed with hot water to kill any germs.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: