Saturday, February 22, 2014

Yogurt Making! A Cultured Return To The Blogosphere

A friend recently posted an inquiry on Facebook about how to make yogurt.  In near harmony, Sylvia has been nudging me to get homemade yogurt going.  The time had come to get my bacteria in gear. I've made yogurt in the past but never without some kind of device.  Not so long ago I made some great creme fraiche sans machine so I thought I would give it a shot.  I also figure if ancient people could do it in the middle of desert, I could handle the task in the middle of the suburbs. 

I thought maybe I wanted to follow the traditions of antiquity in my labor of yogurt creation.  I wanted to be Pre-Pasteur. Less Leeuwenhoek. What I really needed was a goat skin

Naw, I didn't need a goat skin. Maybe just some mason jars, a cooler, milk and plain yogurt. 

First, I got 8 5 oz Mason jars.  If this experiment fails, you can always use the jars for this

Then I got 4.5 cups of milk into a big pot and put it on the stove.  You need to bring the milk up to 125-130 degrees to kill off the any bacteria hanging around.   

At the same time, get some water in another pot and bring it up to 120 degrees. 

Look at that milk just warming up there and all the weird bacteria dying and stuff. awesome. 

Pull out your standard high-quality yogurt for a "starter culture." I think Fage means "awesomesauce" in Greek. Ok, it really means "eat."

Here is my Mise en place.  

After I heated the milk and let it cool to 90-110 degrees, I added one tablespoon of starter yogurt into my milk and swirled it around.  

I got out my Hot Liquor Tank (nothing to do with Hot Toddys) for brewing beer but you could use any old cooler that will hold 8 5oz mason jar standing on end and some water.

Carefully place the jars in the cooler and pour the warm (90-110 degree) water over the jars fully submerging them.  

Now, you wait.  Depending on your cooler, you will need to changed the water ever so often. It's not a big deal if your water dips below 90 but it is better if you keep'r pretty close. 

You can wait for a long as 24ish hour for extra thick and tangy or as soon as about 8 hours for kinda runny.  I like it a little runny for cooking with so I went about 12 hours. 

Then I made some french toast and fruit compote.  I added the yogurt, and fruit to the "pain perdu
 and Viola! 

IMPORTANT: Don't forget to keep a little bit of your fantastic homemade yogurt to use as a starter next time you make it! 

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