Thursday, May 21, 2009

Make Yogurt

Homemade yogurt is delicious. It is so mild that your children may even eat it without any sweetener. And if your child is lactose intolerant, like mine, you will be making the only yogurt your child can eat.

I used whole lactaid milk, and plain Stoneyfield Farms yogurt for the starter. Of course you can use lowfat or skim milk, but I like the richness of the whole milk. Your starter needs to have live yogurt cultures, and Stoneyfield Farms has several different types of yogurt cultures in the mix.

Pour 4 cups of milk into a microwavable dish. I heat the milk for about 8 minutes. You don't want it to boil, you want it to almost boil. When it is done you will see tiny bubbles around the edge. Keep an eye on it. Your microwave may be stronger or weaker than mine.

It is normal if it forms a skin on top. You can remove the skin if you want.

Now you have to wait for the yogurt to cool down. You are going to be adding live bacteria to the milk, and if it is too hot, it will kill them. I put a dab of milk on my wrist to test it. If it feels like a nice warm bath, (not tepid,) it is ready.

While it is cooling, measure out two tablespoons of the yogurt starter.

Once you have cooled the milk enough, add a little of it to the starter and mix until smooth.

Now stir your culture into the milk.

Time to incubate. There are many ways to incubate the yogurt. One easy way is to warm up the oven to about 100 degrees, turn off the heat, turn on the oven light, and leave your yogurt to incubate for about 12 hours. Then you don't have to babysit it. You can make the yogurt at breakfast time and have it for dessert that night. Or, start it before you go to bed for breakfast the next day. My favorite method, if I am going to be home for a while, is to set my oven on the bread proofing setting. Other methods I have heard about: if you are in a hurry, you can cover it and wrap it in a blanket and leave it on low on a heating pad for a few hours, (don't leave the heating pad unattended;) or put it in a really nice warm furnace room, covered and wrapped up; or cover and wrap it in clean towels and put it in a cooler with a pot of hot water. But try not to agitate it while it is incubating. It will be thick when it is ready, though not as thick as commercial yogurt. If you see some golden liquid, that is the whey, which you may simply pour off or mix in. If the yogurt is too mild for your taste, incubate it longer until it is as tart as you like it.

This child likes delicious homemade yogurt with a spoonful of homemade raspberry jam.

1 comment:

Erna said...

what a lovely blog you have! great ideas and lovely pictures! thanks for coming by at my place and letting me know you have a blog too! I'll come back!