Thursday, 7 July 2011
We often have too much milk now that I am milking twice a day again. One of my favourite things to do with milk (since I don't normally drink it) is make yoghurt. And this is the method I use:
Measure 1.8L of milk. Bring to 80 degrees C for 15 minutes (I use the Thermomix) - to kill off unwanted bacteria (this step is considered optional by some). I choose to work with 1.8L so that I can fit the finished product into my 2L Thermoserver.
Cool the milk to 37 degrees C, or, if you're milking a cow, you will have a daily supply of milk at the perfect temperature!
To the 37 degree C milk, add about 1/2 cup of prepared natural yoghurt ('starter') - either some you've made yourself previously, or the nicest store-bought natural yoghurt you can find (one with lots of good bacteria and no additives). Alternatively, add some powdered yoghurt starter (usually purchased from a cheese-making supplier, not the sachets in the supermarket).
Mix very gently to combine. If using the Thermomix, set to speed 1 for a few minutes so that yoghurt starter is mixed through well. If not, simply mix with a whisk very gently until the starter seems well combined with the milk.
Pour gently into a warm Thermoserver, Thermos, jars wrapped in towels, EasiYo maker, or any other way you can figure to keep the yoghurt at 37 degrees overnight. Do not bump or move, simply set aside and let the bacteria do its thing.
In the morning, you should have firmly set yoghurt - and it will become more firm in the fridge. You may eat it right away, or use it in different ways...
My children adore homemade jam layered with lots of creamy natural yoghurt - what a sweet treat! Plum is a current favourite. We love to strain our yoghurt through a cheesecloth (or chux) lined sieve (put a jug underneath) to make Greek-style yoghurt, or we leave it even longer to make labeneh - yoghurt cheese. To us, labeneh is similar to bought cream cheese and can be used in the same way. One more way we use a lot of our yoghurt is as a condiment served with curries, or made into raita. Yum!