Saturday, June 5, 2010

Making Yogurt!

Since I have been purchasing Whole Raw Jersey Milk
I have wanted to try making my own yogurt.
Gentleman Farmer takes yogurt everyday
in his lunch for work and it gets to be
quite expensive.
I looked at several recipes, and wasn't sure how to
keep mine heated during the 'ripening' process.
The milk needs to be held at 116* for 4-8 hours,
depending on the particular recipe.
Some called for a yogurt maker, or a crock pot, or
your oven and even an ice chest pre-warmed with hot water.
I was about to try the one with the ice chest
and remembered that
my little food dehydrator recipe book
said you could make yogurt in it.
I plugged it in and put a thermometer in to see what
the constant temperature would be and
it held at 118*. I hoped it would be close enough
and gave it a try.
Here is what I did:
Gathered my ingredients/supplies.
6 1/2 pint wide mouth canning jars with lids
(washed in hot soapy water and rinsed well)
Candy thermometer
1 quart fresh raw whole milk
1/3 cup powdered milk (for thickening. Some
recipes call for gelatin, but I didn't want to use that.)
1/3 cup organic sugar
(Could have used 1/4 cup real maple syrup or honey)
1/2 teaspoon real vanilla
1/2 cup live culture plain yogurt
Combine milk and milk powder into a large saucepan.
Heat to 180* at medium heat, stirring continuously
so milk does not scorch.
Remove pan from stove and place in sink of cold water
to cool to 116*. This does not take long.
Stir and watch that thermometer!
When it has cooled to 116*,
add your yogurt culture and vanilla
and mix well.
My culture never stirred in completely.
Pour into warm jars and set in the dehydrator.

Put on the top and wait!
(I remembered later to set the lids on the jars.)

I checked it after 4 hours.
I appeared a bit runny/watery.
I stirred it with a spoon and gave it an apprehensive
taste ~ It was good! Tasted like custard!
It didn't have much 'tang' yet so I left it
another 1 1/2 hours.
Then I put it in the refrigerator overnight.
It needs to be refrigerated for at least 8 hours for best texture.

Gentleman Farmer had it for breakfast this morning with
a bowl of granola.
He gave me a kiss afterward and said,
"Thanks for the delicious breakfast!"
I will be making my own yogurt from now on!
You can use any type of milk; whole, raw, organic,
low fat, even powdered or canned.
Just be sure the yogurt that you use for
your culture has live bacteria.
It can be mixed with fruit, berries or jam
for a variety of flavors.
Please let me know if you make your own yogurt
or if you try making some!