I was inspired by the extremely straightforward recipe for doing so in the Nourishing Traditions recipe book which basically tells you to
- Heat a litre of milk to 180f
- Let it cool to 110f
- Gently stir in about half a cup of existing yoghurt to use as a starter
- Cover and let it sit somewhere warm overnight
- Refrigerate and enjoy
After a quick trip to the housewares shop to buy a thermometer I gave it a go using pasteurised but non-homogenised whole milk and greek yoghurt that we had in the fridge.
I was a bit unsure about where to leave it that would be warm enough. I remember my mother keeping yoghurt in the hot water cupboard, but we don't have one. After heating the milk in a saucepan and stirring in the culture, I ended up transferring it into a lidded casserole dish which I left in the oven to get warm while I pre-heated the oven to about 100C. I then turned the oven off but left the casserole dish in overnight for the yoghurt to stay warm.
It worked okay and I thought the result was pretty good for my first try, although I seemed to make a lot of dishes.
Homemade yoghurt is somewhat runnier than commercial yoghurt and Mr Duncan likes his yoghurt thick and creamy so I drained it in a cheesecloth-lined sieve, reserving the whey for use in other things.
|Straining the yoghurt to get the whey|
So far so good.
So then I tried making a second batch of yoghurt using some of my first batch as the starter.
This time I heated (and cooled) the milk in the casserole dish and put the lot in the preheated oven but the resulting "yoghurt" was too thin and drained right through the sieve/cheesecloth!
I ended up churning it in the ice-cream maker with the mushed up fruit and juice of half a tin of peaches and a bit of cream, which was worthwhile.
|Peach yoghurt ice-cream|
My new way of making yoghurt follows this tutorial.
I like that the yoghurt is made in the jars it will be stored in and that there are fewer dishes.
|Heating the milk|
My first batch made using the new method turned out nice and thick, so thick I didn't think it would drain well through the sieve and I upturned the jar over my bamboo steamer.
|A straining mistake|
I've now bought a much finer strainer as recommended at Salad In a Jar which I'll use to strain tonight's batch.
To be honest, the quality and price of yoghurt where we live in Australia doesn't really merit the effort to make my own. It costs about $6.00 for 1 kg of good quality probiotic yoghurt (we like the Jalna and Bornhoffen brands) and nearly $6.00 for the two litres of milk I need to make that much greek-style yoghurt. It doesn't taste any better although I do like knowing that its made with fresh, local, whole milk.
So why continue to make my own?
I have developed a taste for Fruit Kvass which I will write about in my next post...