Wednesday, 14 October 2009

make your own yogurt

Wendy and Rachel have both asked to know exactly what we do to make our own yogurt. Well, it seems incredibly easy, especially if you have already been using a yogurt maker with the commercial sachets.
  1. Make a batch of yogurt as you have been doing.
  2. Then, when ready to make your next batch, fill the container with milk made up from powdered milk.
  3. Add 2-3 dessert spoons of your last batch of yogurt. Shake well.
That's it. Then put it in the thermos/hot water as per normal. When it is ready, we sweeten it with a spoonful of sugar or honey and sometimes flavour with vanilla or fruit.

Extra comments
  • the water needs to be good quality, we use rain water but we don't boil it
  • it may work using normal milk rather than milk powder, but we can't get fresh milk and have never tried it
  • we also make it in empty plastic jars (the large peanut-butter jars), they are a bit smaller than the container that comes with the yogurt maker and so we add less hot water to the thermos
  • yogurt can still be used to start a new culture if it has been in the fridge for up to four or five days
  • yogurt is live bacteria culture... I'm not sure what that means for pregnant women as it is usually recommended that they avoid foods with live bacteria. Yogurt bacteria are harmless themselves (it fact, are supposed to be good for your gut) and yogurt itself is safe in pregnancy, I'm just not sure about when you make it yourself because you are creating perfect conditions for bacteria to grow and I don't know whether the harmful bacteria would/could also grow.


Rachel said...

Neat! Thanks so much for sharing. I'll have to give it a go since I have so much powdered milk in my cupboard. Have you found the yogurt is thinner with your homemade stuff?? We (my family that I grew up in) used to make it by adding 1/4 cup "old" (ie a week or more old) yoghurt to a carton of UHT milk and it was always thin and not very nice to eat as it wasn't so "yoghurty" if you know what I mean. I'm thinking that by following your yoghurt only 4-5 days old rule and using powdered milk instead of UHT milk might make a difference. Will have to try and see! Thanks again!

Rachael said...

It's thinner than bought yogurt, but it still looks like cottage cheese when we first take it out. After stirring it it goes smooth, and thinner. It's not runny, just thinner than bought yogurt. Apparently there is often gelatine in bought yogurt to make it as thick as it is. Using more milk powder produces a thicker yogurt, too.

Mike said...

I've been doing the same - making yoghurt from the last batch. But I have been making up the milk powder with near boiling water (over 185 degree F) and then let it cool to 110 deg F before adding the old yoghurt (as that is the temp that bacteria does its work). I have also been looking for a way to make it thicker. I drain off some whey when it is first made. Am thinking about straining through some (clean) chux.