Saturday, April 12, 2008

homemade yogurt, pure magic

homemade yogurt - try it, you'll like it

When I first read about making homemade yogurt in Super Baby Food, I thought the writer was crazy and thought it was ridiculous to waste time that's already so inexpensive, good quality (at least in Switzerland) and relatively unprocessed. Then I read/heard a few things about how commercial plain yogurt (even organic) doesn't contain much of the the beneficial or probiotic bacteria, which is one of the main reasons to eat yogurt. Plus it often has added milk powder (which increases the lactose making it harder to digest) and is often pasteurized, bla, bla, bla...

Anyhoo, I decided to experiment and was quite pleased with the results. I like anything approaching magic with food and yogurt certainly fits the bill. Scald a little milk, add a bit of starter yogurt, let it sit for a few hours and voila - yogurt! I followed the instructions in Super Baby Food, but there are loads of recipes on the web. Here's my short version:

1. Scald a quart of milk (heat to 185F, just before boiling)
2. Cool to 115F
3. Stir in 2TB yogurt (your starter that should have active bacteria)
4. Pour into sterile containers and put on lids
5. Place in warm place (oven turned on lowest setting - 110F) to maintain temp of liquid between 90F and 120F (ideally at 100F). Leave for 4-12 hours until mixture is firm. You now have yogurt.
6. Refrigerate for a few hours.
7. Add flavorings/sweeteners, eat and enjoy.

Notes: I used whole milk and mine was plenty thick. I didn't add any milk powder or gelatin to thicken it. I used mason jars to store the yogurt in. Mine was done after 5 hours. It wasn't sour at all, which was a plus because I'm trying to get my baby to eat it. If you want it more sour, just ferment it longer. It keeps 1-2 weeks in the fridge. If it doesn't set, either the starter didn't have enough bacteria (maybe too old) or the fermenting milk got below 90F or above 120F, thus killing the bacteria.


Astrid said...

So cool! I know a fair number of people make yogurt themselves in France, using a yogurt making machine (yaourtière), but I didn't know you could make it with regular equipment. I agree, the magic factor is one of the greatest parts of cooking/baking.

SwissMiss said...

Wow, you're right, so neat! Cost factor, though: I can get 750g of yogurt for 1.30 at Coop (Prix Garantie). A liter of milk costs me at least 1.45 (more if you buy Bio, which I do). Add the cost of electricity for keeping your oven running for 5 hours, and I'm not sure it's worth it. It is fun, though. :-)

Michelle said...

okay, this gives me confidence now that you've tried it. I have a had a "yogurt maker" in my closet- untouched- for about 10 years now. How pathetic. I need to try this. Thanks!!

topazsfp said...

I've never used this product, but I hear that the Yogotherm works really well:

Chris said...

Late posting here, but I use a Yogotherm and I really like the simplicity of use and the results. It makes up to two quarts/liters and requires no energy once the yogurt is at the culturing temperature of 115F.

M. Hopson said...

yeah homemade yogurt is better than the one available on stores (I find them too sugary, and other stuff like they were force-fermented, etc.) You could also make your own kefir and kombucha for variety :)

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