Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

November 19, 2007

Yogurt first try.

I finally tried my hand at making homemade yogurt. This has been something I've been wanting to try for a while and I finally just did it. I was going to try to make it with regular 2% milk, something that I could easily get at the store but the more I looked around and compared recipes, I noticed that there were a lot of references to making it with reconstituted milk, or even milk with dried milk added to increase the thickness. As I spoke about last week, I feel there's a need to not just store and prepare ourselves with food stores, but to learn how to effectively use them. So I decided to make the yogurt entirely from dried milk. This was, at it's core, an experiment after all.

I mixed a gallon of milk per instructions, 3/4 cup mix to 1 quart warm water. I added one more 1/4 cup to the final mix to help with thickness of the yogurt, then refrigerated it. I won't go into the specifics of the process, there's a lot better descriptions of it easily accessible online. Basically I heated the milk to kill off the bad bacteria, cooled it to an acceptable temp to allow new bacterial growth, and inoculated it with live cultures from some plain yogurt that I had frozen to use specifically for this. After allowing the inoculated milk to sit in a warm bath overnight, the milk had solidified into a beautiful gelatinous blob of yogurt.

Tonight I tried it out after I had left it to cool through the day. The jar of preserves that you see in the picture is one that I have been saving for a while. I was born in Sweden, and as a kid we called this stuff "Swedish Gold". It was so hard to get, and so expensive when we could, that the only time we ever really got to enjoy it was either when visiting family, or when Mormor (Swedish for grandma) sent some out to us. Anyway, I've been waiting for something worth trying it on, and this just seemed right. I added a little splenda to sweeten, and a dollop of Cloud berries and Mmmm Mmmm good! Since I had made two quarts of yogurt (I kept a half gallon of the milk in the fridge to test out on some other things.) I decided to try vanilla and some sweetener in the second one. I added the flavoring, and whipped with a blender and whisk attachment. What I had after was delicious, smooth, almost and a little thinner, almost like Keefer.

I'm really proud to say that it came out well on my first try. I don't know how many of you have tried this, but I have to say it was well worth it. I haven't figured out exactly what it ended up costing me to make the two quarts, but by using strictly the dried milk, I'm sure the cost was very minimal. I'll let you know if I ever figure it out, I probably will. Next try I'd like to learn how to flavor the yogurt while I'm making it, rather than after. I'd also like to find a better way to keep it warm than the water bath, you know I love a challenge!


Eva said...

Wow! Great job! All of our yogurt eating is costing me a pretty penny these days. I've been meaning to make my own FOREVER. This is yet another gentle inspiring nudge to get me moving. Thanks! Enjoy your yogurt! What did the kids think of it?

Lynn / vigilant20 said...

I love gadgets, so I got myself a yogurt maker to keep mine warm. It seemed more energy efficient and dependable than the method of turning on and off the oven to keep an approximate temperature that my friend had used...sheesh.

RedStateGreen said...

Congratulations! I just bought some plain yogurt today to start off a batch myself! We'll see how it goes ...

P~ said...

Eva~ I definitely think you should give it a try, and if you do, let me know how yours turns out. I may try another recipe that I found for vanilla soon. I'll let you know.

Lynn~ I didn't use the oven at all, just the range. I boiled water to sterilize Qt. Mason Jars, then poured that water into a cooler to preheat it. After the yogurt was inoculated, I kept it warm in the cooler hot water bath. reusing the water that was already there.

RSG~ I hope to hear how yours comes out! Mine was very mild, enough that I could eat the plain with minimal sweetening. Good Luck!

TinTex said...

I have been making yogurt forever, and really, any place that stays fairly warm will work. I've made it in a big bowl set on top of the water heater; set inside a gas oven with pilot light but not turned on; even sitting on top of an electric blanket once. I read somewhere that nomads make it (or used to) in bags hung in the sun. And you definitely don't need one of those plug in yogurt makers, though it's handy to have the little individual portions.

One last thing, try different kinds of milk for your yogurt. They're all different. My own personal fave is about half skim milk (cow) and half goats milk. YUM!!

Moonwaves said...

Try a thermos flask. Works very well.