As part of the guest breakfast, we offer home made yogurts and I’m often asked for information about how to make them, what equipment I use and so on, so I thought I’d write this blog post as a reference point for those of you that are interested in having a go yourselves. I make mine with 2% fat milk (semi-skimmed) and this makes creamy yogurts which are mild, pleasant to eat and don’t need any sweetening. If you do prefer your yogurt sweeter or fruity, just add a teaspoon of jam or honey.
It’s worth mentioning that this post covers making yogurt from cows milk. Yogurt can also be made with certain types of lactose-free milk, goats milk, sheeps milk etc. This however, goes beyond my knowledge and experience. The methods and culture times are likely to be different
I use two different types of yogurt makers, one from Andrew James which you can find here: http://www.andrewjamesworldwide.com. I use this one for the guest yogurts but I don’t use their pots. I use individual glasses which I sourced myself and cover them with jampot covers. The only reason for this is that the pots supplied are too big for my needs. There is also a bulk type of maker which you can get from Lakeland here: http://www.lakeland.co.uk which I use for our personal use.
- 1 x Litre of UHT milk
- 1 x small pot of natural live yogurt
- 30g (2 tbsp) dried skimmed milk powder
It couldn’t be easier and takes just about 5 minutes preparation time. They take about 9 hours to “cook” so it’s a good idea to plan to make them either early in the day or overnight.
- Put 1 teaspoon of the natural live yogurt into each of your sterilised (see below) glass yogurt pots
- If you’re using the bulk yogurt maker, add a little more if you like but a teaspoon is actually enough!
- Mix the skimmed milk powder with a little of the milk in a microwaveable container until well combined. Add the rest of the milk.
- Heat the litre of UHT milk in the microwave for about 90 seconds to bring the milk up to around 30-40 degrees C. If you don’t do this, you may need to set your timer for longer than the 9 hours I suggest.
- Pour the milk into the yogurt pots, stir to mix with the live yogurt and then put the lids or covers on
- Put the jars into the yogurt-maker, set the timer for 9 hours, switch on and leave alone! Do not be tempted to agitate or stir!
- 9 hours later, check that the yogurt is set and then refrigerate
I recommend sticking a label on the lid with the date on which you made them, so that you always know how fresh they are. Make sure your use-by date is shorter than the date which was on your original yogurt starter.
People have been making their own yogurts for centuries without coming to any harm – it’s possibly one of the oldest foods. However, you will be cultivating bacteria so it’s a good idea to take a few sensible precautions to make sure you’re only cultivating healthy bacteria:
- wash your hands before you start
- always use scrupulously clean equipment. Ideally wash and dry your equipment in the dishwasher at high temperature. If you don’t have a dishwasher, wash up as normal, rinse and then immerse the equipment in boiling water for a few minutes and allow to air dry. Keep them in a covered place so they don’t collect dust and dirt
- use UHT milk. UHT milk has already been sterilised so it’s ready for you to use. If you wish to use fresh milk, you should boil it first and then cool it down to 30-40 degrees C.
- I always start with a fresh live yogurt maker and don’t remake from my own stock
Once you start finding out about yogurt, you will probably be fascinated by it as I was. It has a long history and it is claimed to have many health-giving qualities
There are lots of things you can use your home made yogurt for and here are a few suggestions:
- the simplest of dressings for salads:
- add seasoning and some provencal herbs or chopped fresh mint
- add finely chopped anchovies, grated parmesan, a splash of Worcester sauce & blend together for a Caesar style dressing
- tzatziki or cucumber raita
- thicken the yogurt by straining it through muslin
- grate some cucumber and garlic, squeeze out excess moisture and add to the yogurt with a little mint
- use in the place of cream in many recipes, although it may split if cooked at high temperature.