Eat With Me thanks Annabelle, Eat With Me guest contributor and author of cooking blog Calamity Shazaam in the Kitchen for this great post on making homemade yogurt.
I love yogurt and I eat a lot of it. Lately I’ve been eating it for breakfast with dried fruit or with jam.
It has to be plain yogurt though. I find flavored yogurt tastes odd to me now, even though I used to love vanilla yogurt. Now I just flavor my own with a little vanilla myself, if I want.
I have to say however that when I tell people that I make my own yogurt I think people wonder how I am still alive.
Because seriously, when I describe the process it really does sound like something that would kill you.
So I figured showing people the process might take some of the mystery out of it.
To get started you’ll need a stove.
You will need a pot of yogurt that has lots of acidophilus in it. If I have some leftover of the previous batch, I will use that. Sort of like yeast starter.
You will need milk because face it, you can’t make yogurt without it. You can use whole milk, or lowfat, but skim milk doesn’t quite work when I’ve tried. You can certainly try but don’t blame me when it won’t set up.
Make sure you have a good pot for this endeavor. You can use a glass jar, or a ceramic one with a lid. It has to have a lid. The pot below is one my aunt made me, and I love it. It is absolutely the most perfect pot for yogurt. It holds enough for a week of yogurt and the thick walls are critical for holding in the warmth, and later the cold.
The last critical component is something to wrap the jar up with while the yogurt sets. I use a tea towel and an old woolly hat.
So there you are, everything to make a pot of yogurt.
Ok so now that you have everything, you are ready to go. Pour the milk into the pan, heat it up until it just nearly boils, let it cool down until you can stick your finger in it and count to ten without pain, stir in about three tablespoons of yogurt, strain into the pot, wrap the pot up snugly, place in a warm place overnight, then in the morning unwrap the pot carefully, place in the fridge for the day and then you will have yogurt that night!
Ok so you want more pictures? You got it!
You are probably wondering how much milk. Well, that depends on how big your crock is. The first time I made it in this crock, I just filled the crock with milk and poured it into the pan. Turns out that in my own personal set up, I just need to fill the pan to the two handle nubs and that makes enough.
Heat the milk over a medium flame:
And when it boils up, remove from the heat:
Now, this is the boring part. You need to let the scalded milk cool just to the point where you can put your finger in it and hold it there without suffering to the count of ten. But just to that point – you don’t want it to be completely cool.
Once it’s cool-ish, stir in about three tablespoons of yogurt. This batch I used Stonyfield Greek Style yogurt. To be honest I bought it because it was the only plain yogurt available in the shop, and also because it has three types of acidophilus but the end product is less tangy for some reason. I usually use local milk and Erivan yogurt and that makes a yogurt that is consistent from batch to batch. Oh well, it’s still good. Keep watching.
Another tip, gently stir in the yogurt. Preferably with a rubber spatula. Scalding milk leaves this weird coating on the interior of the pan that you don’t really want in your final product.
Get the strainer ready and pour the mixture into your crock.
You see what I mean? Looks like milk boogers. Yeah, you don’t want that in your yogurt.
Now this is the tricky part. I have a gas stove that has a bump where the pilot light is. This provides enough heat to convert the milk into yogurt. Hmmm, I am not positive what to tell you if you have an electric stove. I think you could put the crock in a cooler that you fill halfway with hot water. I imagine that would hold the heat pretty well. Or wrap it in a thicker towels and set near a heater…
Let the yogurt “babushka” sit overnight and in the morning unwrap “her” and pop “her” in the fridge for the day.
You will come home to a delicious crock of yogurt that is ready to eat.
Which might be just your sort of thing.
Yogurt sort of lends itself to experimentation. And by that I don’t mean with time and temperature, but rather you can experiment with milk/yogurt combinations. If you want to add fruit or jam, do it after.
And oh yeah, this stuff is GREAT strained (strainer over a pot, in the fridge, overnight).