Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Milk: Making home made Yogurt
Sometimes I skim the heavy cream off the milk. When the yogurt has set up it makes a thick yellow layer which, although my hubby loves, the kids tend to shy away from. I save the cream for making ice cream instead. Now that they have no problem eating!!
I bought a Yogourmet yogurt maker and starter online. However, instead of the costly starter, now I take a small portion of my previous batch and use that in my next one. Usually I have a small container just for the starter. You only need about 2 tablespoons, any more and the yogurt won't set up as well.
Mix 2 liters of milk and 1 packet of unflavored gelatin, bring to 180 degree Fahrenheit. Take it off the heat, add in sugar if desired, mix well. I usually add 1/3 to 1/2 cup, once I accidentally-on-purpose 'forgot' to add sugar and the kids refused to eat it.
I then put it in an ice bath in the sink. You can skip this step, but it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r to bring it down to 73-77 degrees, the best temp for yogurt. Once in the ice bath, I add up to 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.
At 73-77 degrees, pour some into the yogurt container, mix well with the starter, then slowly add in the rest of the cooled milk.
Incubate in the Yogourmet for 13-15 hours. I usually make it in the evening after I come in from milking, the yogurt incubates overnight and I put it in the fridge around lunch time. I let it cool for about 6 hours and the kids enjoy it as dessert after dinner. I top it with honey, fresh fruit or sauce I've made from fresh fruit. Sometimes I'll even use the store-bought pancake fruit topping, although it has high fructose corn syrup in it.
I make this at least twice a week, with 3 yogurt loving kids and my hubby, it doesn't last long around here!
Two things that may make your yogurt-making life easier: invest in a good thermometer and an immersion blender. I bought a thermometer that beeps when it gets to temp. This will free you from standing over the stove watching it get to the correct temperature. The immersion blender is a useful tool, not required for mixing up the yogurt starter, but it does a great job and it's useful in other recipes, too.