Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I make yogurt too.

I made yogurt out of milk for the first time a week or two ago.

I know what you're thinking. All those domestic ideas Austin has are spot on.

You're right. They are.

I would rather make yogurt myself than buy it. It is the best yogurt ever and it only costs me about a dollar a quart this way.

I used the awesome yogotherm he got me for Christmas 2009, but you could use anything that will keep a liquid at a constant temperature for 10-12 hours. The Backyard Homestead (one of my favorite books ever right after the Laura Ingalls Wilder series for home food making instruction) gives several options, my favorite being wide-mouth glass jars in a Styrofoam thermos.

I used a combo of the recipe from Backyard Homestead and Ricki the Cheese Queen's recipe.

I heated 2 quarts of milk to 186 degrees, turned off the heat and stirred in 1/2 cup of dried milk (both make the yogurt thicker and creamier). Then I let it cool to 110 and added 1/2 cup of yogurt I bought at the store (it was Dannon All Natural Nonfat Plain which is tangier than some and I like that, but I think any kind of plain would work), poured the whole thing in the yogotherm, sat it on the counter to work undisturbed and came back 10 hours later to 2 quarts of yogurt. Awesome.

Austin really prefers Greek yogurt which is thicker than most and tangier in my opinion. I already had the tangy part down (you can leave it to set longer to get tangier yogurt). I strained it (in a coffee filter in a sieve over a measuring cup in the fridge letting 1/2 cup of whey drain out of each 2 cups of yogurt) and the result is unfreakingbelievably good.

I saved 1/2 cup to use as the starter for the next batch and it looks like I need to get on that because there is only about a serving left. I'll try to take pictures next time.


  1. I got super lazy and stopped even heating the yogurt. That's in every yogurt recipe ever written but I think it goes back to pre-pasteurization days. I've never had a batch go bad on account of not heating it first.

    I actually even once got super experimental and cultured milk using only the contents of a couple of pro-biotic capsules. Totally worked, too.

    Try Ricki's creme fraiche, it's perfect.

  2. Oooh Oooh! Also. Apply the yogurt recipe to a quart of cream and then beat the resulting creme fraiche into butter. Then you will have real buttermilk and it puts commercial buttermilk to shame. Commercial buttermilk is cultured after separation from the sweet cream, while genuine buttermilk is best separated from cultured cream. The resulting butter also tastes better; although it will be harder than store-bought, it has a much richer flavor. Especially if you start with good fresh cream.

    Oh my lord I'm hungry now.



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