I’ve been making my own yogurt for quite some time. It’s worth the time and effort, because the taste is superior to anything you can buy in the store. After DH’s second surgery I got so wrapped up in taking care of him that I let my yogurt get too old to eat or use as a starter for another batch. Earlier in the month I caught an Alton Brown segment on yogurt making and decided to use his technique. It was a bomb…in my humble opinion. I ended up pouring out almost an entire batch. I’m not blaming Alton…it was likely the yogurt starter I used. It’s getting harder and harder to find a truly plain yogurt in a grocery store. Most have ingredients other than milk and bacteria…and they prove to be less than satisfactory homemade yogurt starters. One thing Brown did that I will never do again with an entire batch is add honey as a sweetener. I’ve grown accustomed to the taste of unsweetened yogurt and find it to be delicious with fruit and nuts without additional sweetener.
Because I poured out all my last batch I was in search of a new starter. As I scanned the dairy case at a store near our home I spotted Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt. It contains absolutely nothing but milk and cultures…no food starch-modified (what is food starch-modified anyway???)…no gelatin. Being the Greek variety of yogurt the consistency would already be thicker than its more common counterpart. Being organic…it’s just goodness. I’m not totally sold on the organic craze, but in yogurt it obviously makes a world of difference. I figured it would be worth a the extra expense in my pursuit for perfect homemade yogurt. I also picked up a half gallon of reduced fat organic milk to pair with the yogurt.
The results are wonderfully perfect, marvelously delicious! I couldn’t be more pleased, and I don’t think my latest batch of yogurt can be improved on. It is every bit as thick and creamy as the starter culture. This batch leaves nothing to be desired in a plain yogurt.
I poured the milk and 3/4 cup of powdered milk into a stainless steel saucepan and slowly heated it to 180 degrees, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. After the temperature reached 180 degrees, I removed it from the heat and allowed the temperature to drop to 115 degrees.
I spooned the room temperature yogurt into a stoneware crock and gradually poured the 115 degree milk into the yogurt stirring to incorporate the two ingredients. I loosely covered the crock and placed it in our dehydrator at 115 degrees, and let it sit undisturbed for 8 hours.
When I removed it from the dehydrator this is what I found.
It’s so thick it doesn’t drip…
and so good! If you love yogurt give it a try. If you don’t have a dehydrator, a heating pad set on 115 degrees and wrapped around the container and wrapped again with a towel to help insulate and secure the heating pad will serve as a culture incubator.
It seems I’ve come down with a bug that’s making its way around our area. It’s mild enough to make me feel funky, but not bad enough to keep me in the bed. I’m hoping it passes quickly and doesn’t hit my DH. He’s had enough to deal with without adding a virus to it. I hope you are all feeling on top of your game. See you soon.
Until next time…
Eliminate everything unnecessary in your life in order to put first things first. ~ unknown ~
Hmmmm…that’s a lot to think about.