Thursday, March 28, 2013

Making Yogurt

One of the simplest things to do with milk is to make your own yogurt. While not necessarily cost effective if you buy milk, if you're like me and own goats or other dairy animals, making yogurt makes sense. Not only do you have control over what goes into your yogurt, but you also save a bit of money. Organic yogurt typically costs 99 cents to $3 a serving, which makes making your own that much better.

The recipe I used is from Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses, but you can use just about any yogurt recipe. They're really easy to do.

Basically, you heat the milk to 180F, let cool to 116F and add yogurt starter.  The simplest way is to buy a small cup of yogurt and use a couple of tablespoons to start your yogurt. You then let it sit at 116F for 6 to 12 hours.  Using a yogurt maker, is probably the best solution,  as it keeps the yogurt at the right temperature.  I use the Deni 5600 1-Quart Electric Yogurt Maker. If I had my druthers, I would prefer a yogurt maker with one container, rather than 6 small containers.  You add the flavors after the yogurt is done, so it's kind of silly to have 6 little containers.

One useful thing this recipe suggests is to add pectin to the yogurt. If you make traditional yogurt, even if you let it go for 12 hours, it'll probably be runny.  Adding pectin thickens the yogurt, and while less than traditional, if you like the thick, creamy type of yogurt, you should add pectin.

Cool flavorings to add:

1. Homemade jams
2. Maple syrup
3. Chocolate chips
4. Vanilla (real)
5. Nutmeg or Cinnamon
6. Homemade apple pie filling

Mmm, good!

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