Thursday, March 1, 2012

Awesomeness, pure and simple

Please refer to my re-named blog and this post for a revised and better version of this yogurt recipe

Homemade Greek Yogurt.  How amazing is that?  Why would I make homemade yogurt?  Because I can and because it's completely awesome.

My oldest declared that she "never tasted anything like it" and "it's the best yogurt I've ever had" and "It probably took you a lot of work to make it"

Thank you darling. 

2 ingredients.  Yeah...I love a recipe that calls for only 2 ingredients....that and some time and some unusual equipment...aka a bath towel or blanket and something for straining: paper towels, cheese cloth or a clean dish towel.

8 Cups Milk (any fat percentage of your choice, I used 1% because I like a little fat, but not whole fat and make sure that it isn't Ultra pasteurized.  Just pasteurized is what you want.)
3 Tbl. starter (this is also known as any Greek yogurt you currently have in your fridge, as long as it has live and active cultures, as that's what you need to reproduce and make your yogurt yogurt)

Other Necessary Equipment
Candy Thermometer
Cheese Cloth, Paper Towels or Dish cloth for straining
Heavy Bottom Pan
Ceramic casserole dish with lid
Large bowl that the strainer fits in
A blanket or bath towel

Pour all but 2 Tbl of your milk into a heavy-bottom pan.  Put the 2 Tbl of reserved milk in a bowl and back in the fridge. Stick a candy thermometer in the milk in the pot.  You need the candy thermometer.  Go and buy one if you haven't already.  If you read this blog at all, you will know that a candy thermometer is an essential piece of equipment!  Over medium heat, bring the milk to exactly 180 degrees F. 

Make sure your milk doesn't scorch!  You will want to use a rubber scraper quite religiously during the cooking of the milk.  One benefit of making your own yogurt, during this cooking process your house smells soo good.  Kind of pudding-ish.  Getting it up to temp does take a few minutes, so be patient.

Once you have achieved 180 degrees, immediately remove from stove and pour the heated milk into a large ceramic casserole dish. Put it on a wire rack for cooling. 

Take your reserved milk and to it add 2 to 3 Tbls of your starter...aka some yogurt you have in your fridge.  I would hazard a guess that you want to use a brand of yogurt that you enjoy eating.  My personal favorite is Greek Gods, it's mild and creamy and sooo good.   Mix the milk and the yogurt thoroughly and then put it back in the fridge.  You have to wait for your cooked milk to cool now on the counter top.

Now let it sit WITH THE LID OFF until the temperature comes down to between 105 F and 110 F.  The picture above, if you can see is where I let my temp come to...I would say it was 109 F.  Okay, the reason you keep the lid off, is apparently you need the good bacteria fairies to start working their magic....don't think about it too much.  Lacto-Fermentation is awesome, just let it be. 

Now while your milk is cooling, and mine took about 30 minutes (my house is really cold), you want to turn your oven light on.  This is going to be your heat source.  Yeah...I said the light in your oven.  Don't think I mean that I want you to turn your oven on at  Just the light bulb and you will keep it on for like 8 hours or over night.  I started my yogurt making process at about 8:30 pm and at about 7:30 am was when I removed it from the oven.  Just to give you a little timeline.

Now that your milk has cooled, whisk in the reserved milk and starter so that it is thoroughly combined.  If you feel tempted to add more yogurt thinking it will give you a more yogurty product, don't.  Apparently the bacillus (which is what the bacteria is called) likes to have plenty of room to do their thing and if there is too much then your yogurt will end up watery and off-tasting.  I used 3 tablespoons but think next time for fun I will use 2 just to see if there's a difference.

Lid on.

Make the dish cozy by wrapping it in a towel.  Don't look at me like that.  Wrap it in a towel.  Put it in your oven and leave the light on.  Close the door and walk away.  Please make sure that your towel is not anywhere near the light bulb don't want to start a house fire in the name of homemade yogurt.

You will leave it here for around 8 hours, or over night is convenient (which is what I did)

This is what you wake up to.  See, it's yogurt.  But it's not Greek yet.  So put your casserole dish in the fridge and let it cool for at least 2 hours.

Line your colander with whatever straining item you are using and put the colander in a dish that is big enough.  Now my colander has short stubby legs and because I didn't want my yogurt swimming in it's own whey (which is what you are straining out of the yogurt by the "whey"), I propped my colander up on an inverted bowl so that it would be above the whey.  I used a dish towel for my straining, but I had doubled it up and maybe feel like a single layer would have been plenty.  Scoop your yogurt in and put it back in the fridge for about an hour.

Okay, so after an hour you need to dump your whey and squeeze your yogurt to get the moisture out and then put it back in the colander for another hour of straining at which time you will be surprised again by the amount of whey you get out of it.

Anyone in the whey market?  I got a bunch.  This is only half too!

And now your yogurt is complete and should be thick and tasty.  Sweeten as you like.  We do it with a drizzle of honey and some fresh fruit.  Jam would be nice.  Even some brown sugar would give it a yummy mapley flavor.  Try this.  Especially now when to buy Greek Yogurt is like 6 bucks for 32 oz, here it took half a gallon of milk and so cost....$1 maybe.

Yay for homemade yogurt, you'll feel like a champ and true human being if you do.

Granny Square Pic of the Day

Gratuitous I got a cute kid pic of the Day

My baby on Thunder Mountain Railroad during our DisneyLand vacation.  Too big!  She loved it!  We rode it 3 times.

Thanks as always for reading!


1 comment:

  1. Whey to go ;)

    Looks good..I'll be over later to give it a taste test.


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