Saturday, January 9, 2016

Homemade yogurt

If you like yogurt and buy it often, you are going to like this recipe, which will teach you how you can quite easily make your own yogurt. You can eat it plain, or can add fruit preserves or just simply fresh fruit. For vanilla yogurt you need to add 1 oz (25 g) sugar per container (roughly) and a few drops of vanilla  essence.

You will need a small 4 oz (100g) container of plain yogurt (from any company) to get started. I use greek yogurt. Make sure it does not have any other ingredients in it apart from milk and active yogurt culture. You will also need plastic containers with lids - you can just reuse the ones from store-bought yogurt, as I do; a microwave safe tall dish, 1 gallon of the milk of your choice (1%, 2%, full fat or fat free). I use 2% and full fat since I use yogurt as desert, and as a substitute for sour cream in many recipes.

To start, pour the milk in the glass bowl almost all the way up, leaving 1 inch of space at the top. Set the microwave oven to high for 25-27 minutes. This time could be shorter, or slightly longer, depending on the model of your microwave oven. The one I use is 800 Watts. The most important thing is to see when the milk starts boiling, and from that point it needs to continue boiling for 4-5 minutes (it should look like in the picture).

Take it out (make sure you use oven gloves) and with a ladle pour the hot milk into containers. The hot milk also sterilizes the containers of any unwanted bacteria. If you make more than 1-2 containers of yogurt, boil more milk and repeat the instructions above.

Fill up all the containers with the hot milk and let it cool off untill lukewarm. The milk will make a crust on the top, which you can take out with a fork. Then add 1 tablespoon of the plain yogurt to each of the containers and stir each of them for 1-2 minutes. Put the lids on the containers and place them in the oven at 100° F (37° C) for 3 hours. If you do not have an oven with a thermometer, wrap them up in tea towels (dish cloths) and a blanket. You can check and see if it hardened, and also if the taste is the one you like. If you leave it longer, the yogurt will be sourer. If you want your yogurt to be more solid, you can strain out the whey (which is good to keep for making bread!) - otherwise, stir it and put it in the refrigerator. It should stay fresh for  around 10 days. 

Here is how the finished product should look:

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