Monday, February 13, 2012

This is how I make yoghurt...

Do you make your own yoghurt?  Have you ever tried? 

Yoghurt is a wonderful, healthy food and is so easy to make at home.  It's also much cheaper to make your own, and you can add whatever fruit you have to flavour it.

this is what I do.....
Measure out 1L of pasteurized milk. 

Then measure 1 Tablespoon of natural yoghurt for your starter.  Make sure it is a natural yoghurt and that it contains LIVE cultures.  I use Jalna yoghurt, either the biodynamic organic yoghurt, or sometimes I get the Jalna Greek Style natural Yoghurt - just because I can buy it in a smaller tub.  The ingredients list includes lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium, lactobacillus casei - these are your LIVE cultures.  It's important to use a yoghurt starter with LIVE cultures because they will innoculate your milk and help to turn it into yoghurt.

I use a 1 litre thermos to incubate my yoghurt, make sure it's had a good clean!

Once I have everything ready, I heat up the milk.  I don't use a thermometer, I just bring the milk almost to the boil, you can tell it's there when it's steaming and starts to froth a little around the edges.
I take it off the heat, and  pour it into my pyrex jug to cool down to the point where I can comfortably put  my clean  finger in and leave it there...luke warm isn't warm enough, it has to be quite warm!

When the milk is ready, I put the spoonful of yoghurt into the thermos, then  pour in a little milk and give it a good stir.  Pour in the rest of the milk, give it another good stir  and close the lid.

The yoghurt 'doesn't like to be disturbed, so I put the thermos in a corner of the kitchen and leave it at least 8 hours but no more than 24hours.

The result, yummy fresh yoghurt.  Bear in mind that homemade yoghurt isn't as thick as the stuff you buy.  My yoghurt is generally quite pourable, and sometimes thin enough to be drinkable - but  I like it like that !

You can thicken your yoghurt naturally by straining it through a muslin bag.  This removes the whey from the yoghurt, leaving a nice thick consistancy.  You can strain it anywhere from a few hours to a few days - up to you how thick you want it to be (keep in the fridge while it's straining).  Once all the whey has drained out, you'll have whats called  'yoghurt cheese'.  Yoghurt cheese is great as a spread or a dip.  Just add some herbs and any other flavour you like, or, for a really decadent treat, try these yoghurt maple balls, they are so good!

Homemade yoghurt can also be quite tart tasting.  If you're after a sweeter version, adding pureed fruit is delicious.  Or try a bit of maple syrup and cinnamon mixed into the yoghurt
too  ...mmmmmm...   I'm feeling like some right now !!

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