Wednesday, March 23, 2011
You Made This? Yogurt
Last week, I attended a class in town put on by Lisa from the Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Community and Heidi Thompson from Painted Hill Farm. The intent of the class was to teach us "re-skills"--things that everyone used to know how to do but don't commonly do any more due to modern convenience. The skills we were to learn that night were how to make cheese, butter, and yogurt. I went with the intent of learning something interesting, taking a class with a friend, and that was it. There's no way, I thought, that I would have time to make yogurt. I figured it would be some tedious process.
I was so wrong!
I used whole milk, but you could also use 1 or 2 percent.
I don't normally recommend kitchen gadgets, but a kitchen thermometer is a great tool. Mr. Kim Chee bought me a digital thermometer a while back and while I don't use it all the time, it's a great thing to have on hand.
Heating the milk alters the proteins in the milk. It creates a finer, denser consistency.
I used 4 really large tablespoons of the yogurt. I used Stonyfield because it's my favorite brand, I had it on hand, and it has 6 live cultures in it. Whatever brand you like would work fine, as long as there are active live cultures there.
Look at those great little vanilla flecks!
Looks like it's time for me to buy more jars.
Well, the idea was good, but I think the container let the heat escape and wasn't condusive to allowing the cultures to thrive. My yogurt didn't set up as much as I thought it would. I knew it would be a runner product, but it really was too thin. Next time I will buy some more Ball jars and try again.
Let the yogurt hang out somewhere warm for at least 4 hours. This will help the cultures get busy and give your yogurt its tang.
After the yogurt has set, you can put it in the fridge where it will firm up more. I was pretty excited to be able to eat my own yogurt for breakfast! Once you've seen how easy it is, I bet you'll want to try it yourself! I topped mine with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey. Mr. Kim Chee is planning to try it out with some Great Granola.I've got other plans for homemade yogurt too--what about in Lamb Curry instead of coconut milk or in Buttermilk Pancakes or Honey-Pepper Cornbread instead of buttermilk? So many possibilities!
Oh, and keep a few tablespoons of your homemade yogurt to start your next batch. You'll never have to buy expensive yogurt again!
Recipe: You Made This? Yogurt
1/2 gallon milk (I used whole but you could use 2% or 1% as well)
4 tablespoons of a "starter" yogurt (any yogurt that has active, live yogurt cultures)
2 tbsp. vanilla (optional)
2 tbsp. honey (optional)
Heat the milk to 185F. The milk will begin steaming and bubbling slightly.
Cool the milk to 120F.
Thin yogurt with some of the cooled milk; add yogurt to the cooled milk.
Pour the milk and yogurt mixture into a jar or insulated bottle. Cover and keep in a warm place until it sets (4-5 hours).
Once the yogurt sets, refrigerate it to firm up more. Eat!
If you want a thicker yogurt, strain in cheesecloth and let the excess liquid drain.