How to Make Your Own Yogurt ~ making yogurt is a simple thing. It involves heating milk to just below the boiling point to kill off bacteria, cooling it down to a temperature where some added live yogurt culture can thrive, and then letting it sit undisturbed in a warm place long enough to allow those cultures to multiply. It’s magical, and so satisfying.
There’s only one tricky part. Can you guess? It’s finding that sweet spot, that perfectly warm under-a-mama-duck type place where the milk can sit undisturbed and transform into creamy tangy healthy yogurt.
Most places in the house are either too warm, or too cold. If the temperature is too high, the bacteria will die, and if it’s too low, they won’t multiply. It’s understandable, really, you are attempting to create and maintain the conditions necessary for life itself, which, as it turns out, are pretty exacting
I’ve been making yogurt since college, but even though over the years I’ve managed to figure out ways to make it work, it often involves complicated techniques bordering on the absurd, like swaddling my fledgling yogurt with an electric blanket, or hovering over it with a thermometer and taking its temperature every half hour. If you happen to have a wood stove burning in your kitchen 24/7, or live in the tropics, you’ve got it made. The rest of us have to get creative.
So I finally broke down and bought a yogurt maker on Cyber Monday. I did a little research and this one is inexpensive, well reviewed, and makes the yogurt in a large batch, (up to 1/2 gallon) not in small individual containers like most makers do. You can also use a mason jar or any other jar of your own, too, which is unusual. What I like about it is that it’s low tech. It simply surrounds the yogurt in warm water kept at the right constant temperature. It works and it takes the annoying uncertainty out of the whole deal. It’s small and there’s nothing to clean except the container for the yogurt, which doubles as a storage container. I’ve made 2 batches so far and both have been creamy and delicious.
Homemade yogurt is creamier and nicer tasting than store bought. It’s actually less sharp and tangy, which is a good thing, if you ask me. Plus you can flavor it as you make it, using add-ins like vanilla beans, espresso powder, almond extract, or anything you like. I eat my morning yogurt with citrus sections, honey, and wheatgerm.
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