Whether it’s for breakfast with fruit compote, for cobbler or soda bread, yogurt is always in my fridge. however i always make it and never buy it ready made, not only is it much cheaper, but as always when making anything from scratch, i know exactly whats in it. so i thought id let you all know how easy it is to make your own! Yogurt making is easy and you certainly don’t need to fork out on an expensive yogurt maker, the only extra equipment you may need to purchase is a digital probe or thermometer.(which your should all have as serous cooks already!)
All yogurt is milk that has a been soured and thickened by bacteria, known as cultures, that ferment the lactose (milk Sugar) giving lactic acid, which results in yogurts texture and sour tang and helpfully also prevents the yogurt from spoiling quickly.
All you need is milk, a few spoons of natural yogurt, and milk powder if you wish for a thicker yogurt. Any milk can be used, I usually go for an organic whole milk as this is what i always have available, but any milk will work.
Firstly warm the milk up to around 85c, this temp isn’t too critical but we don’t want it to go too much higher as you then start to cook the milk which will change the taste of your yogurt. This heating helps to produce a thicker yogurt (by denaturing the proteins if you’re interested, allowing the milk to thicken more) also it kills the bacteria already in the milk which may alter the effectiveness of your added yogurt culture and also possibly result in some nasty bacteria growing which may be harmful.
While the milk is warming add some milk powder if you wish to increase the thickness even more, around two table spoon per half a litre of milk is plenty.
When the milk has reached 85c, allow it to cool gently until it is 46c-this temp is critical, anymore any you could kill your friendly bacteria. When at 46c simply mix in a few tablespoons of natural yogurt to your milk.
The yogurt then needs to be kept warm for at least eight hours, there shouldn’t be any need for any more than 24, to thicken. An airing cupboard is great for this, or pour into a warmed sterilized Thermos flask. When it’s thickened simply pour or spoon into a tub and refrigerate.
Hopefully this should produce a great tasting yogurt, at a fraction of the cost of brought yogurt. Just remember to always save a few tablespoons of your yogurt to make you next batch.
There is no excuses now never to have a pot of delicious homemade yogurt sat in your fridge!