How to Make Yogurt
Published Jan 19 2014 in
Category_How To in the Kitchen,
easy yogurt recipe,
how to make yogurt,
thick and creamy homemade yogurt
Everyone is always surprised at how easy it is to make yogurt. When I first learned how to make it, I remember thinking, "If it's really that easy, then why would people bother buying it? Obviously there's more to it than 2 ingredients, and 5 steps, right?" But honestly, it's really is that simple, I haven't bought it since I've started making it, and neither will you.
I love fermentation, and I love talking about it--it's like food science and it makes me giddy (wow has my life changed.) This post, Fermentation 101
, discusses fermentation in more detail, but basically, all you need to know for now is... yogurt is just fermented milk. Shocker! With the help of beneficial bacteria from the starter-yogurt, the sugar in the milk, lactose, is fermented into lactic acid which coagulates (I hate that word) the milk. This fermentation process creates a probiotic-rich yogurt which helps to maintain healthy gut flora. That's the very basics to behind the scenes of fermenting yogurt.
For fermentation to take place, the good bacteria need a warm environment to thrive, about 100°.
As I mentioned in Step 5 below, putting your yogurt in the oven with ONLY the light on, provides a perfect temperature for the milk to ferment.
When your yogurt has finished fermenting, which takes about 24 hours, it should have a custard-like texture, a thin layer of yellow-ish liquid (whey) on top, and contain a mild, tangy taste. Your yogurt may not be as thick as some store-bought, because store-bought yogurt contains artificial thickeners. But rest assured, this yogurt is quite thick as far as homemade yogurt goes!
In order to turn this yogurt into Greek-style yogurt,
simply strain some of the whey out using a cheese-cloth.
If you would like to sweeten or flavour your yogurt,
stir in some honey, Grade B maple syrup, homemade jam and/or berries, once it has finished fermenting.
This yogurt also pairs perfectly with homemade granola.
Don't forget to set aside 1/2 a cup of your finished yogurt as your starter in your next batch.
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