Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wholesome Homemade Yogurt



Of late, I am in the "make everything from scratch" phase, and I figure its a good chance to make batches of homemade yogurt again. I missed the taste and texture of homemade yogurt, something that is way superior than even those selling in upmarket organic complexes. Photo is from my previous post of homemade yogurt.

I also tweaked the recipes and method, since I figure leaving dairy product in room temperature for prolonged hours is not such a good idea. Also, I am fine with the thickness of the final product, so no thickeners necessary.

Why boil the milk?

Heating the milk is done for a few reasons:

To sterilize/pasteurize the milk so that the yogurt bacteria/culture as a hospitable place to grow in. It is not desirable to also incubate possible "bad" or contaminating bacteria that might be present in the unsterilized milk.
Boiling the milk helps to a smooth thick yogurt.
Boiling the milk also helps stop the whey from separating out quite as much. (The "water" you sometimes find on the top of your yogurt is whey.)

To avoid contamination and spoilage, I sterilized more small jars and divide the end products into smaller serving sizes.

Some of the ways I consume the yogurt, other than eating it as it is:

Yogurt and fruit platter
Yogurt as salad dressing
Yogurt in lassi, both salted and sweet
Yogurt and fruit smoothie
Yogurt as chips and snack dips
Yogurt as meat marinade (Soften the meat!)
Yogurt as sauce or stew thickener

Recipe for Homemade Yogurt

Ingredients
2 cups milk (used fresh full cream milk)
1/2 cup yogurt with live cultures (a small pot of commercial yogurt with "live culture" label)

Direction

  1. Sterilize everything. This includes all the glass jars, measuring cups, spoons and strainer. Give them a hot water bath and let them dry on their own. Do not wipe.
  2. In a double boiler, heat the milk to 85C/185F. This is done to sterilize the milk. Wait for them to cool down to around 40-44C, or 108-112F.
  3. In the prepared container, pour in the milk. Add in the yogurt. Stir. Cover tightly and give it a good shake.
  4. Let the yogurt sit for 4 to 8 hours in room temperature. Try not to disturb the yogurt too much. It will take longer if the temperature is low. I put them in a Cooler Box and they do very well.
  5. When the yogurt is set, strain and separate them into smaller portions. Keep the strained (those remaining in the sieve), thick yogurt in the fridge for future yogurt making process. This is the starter that you can keep using instead of buying and using commercial yogurt for every batch.
  6. Chill yogurt before using.

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