DIY : Yogurt

For fans of yogurt it can be hard to avoid plastic with not many glass-jarred versions out there. But help is at hand because its surprisingly easy to make your own. You can decide how much time and effort you put in, some recipes call for constant attention but we’ve had success with an easy slow-cooker almost leave it to it recipe. You’ll need either a slow cooker or you can do with a saucepan and a thermometer to measure milk temperature. The total time making the yogurt mixture is around 3-4 hours and then resting tie of 10/12 hrs or over night - so plan accordingly!

Ingredients:

Milk - ideally un-homogenised and full fat

Yogurt cultures - from existing bio live yogurt pot, or you can use kefir cultures too

Directions:

We usually use around 2 litres of milk which makes 1 large jar of yogurt and around 100ml of yogurt cultures

Make sure your yogurt cultures are at room temperature - so take out of the fridge and place on worktop.

Place all milk in either slow cooker or saucepan if doing on hob. You want to get the milk temperature up to 85 degrees Celsius slowly, without burning the milk. You can do this on a high setting in the slow cooker or over a medium heat in a pan. This will take up to 2 hrs. You can decide how much attention you place on heating the milk. We’ve often just left the slow cooker to it and occasionally checked the temperature and given it a bit of a stir. If you are doing over a hob you will need to tend to it more ensuring you stir regularly to stop any scorching of the milk.

Once at the desired temperature (and make sure it does reach this temp, we’ve often found the yogurt doesn’t take if it hasn’t quite reached the top temp) depending on how much time you have you can either keep it at that temp for a little while, up to 20/30 mins or you can start to cool the milk - we’ve heard that the longer you heat the thicker the yogurt. So turn off the slow cooker or remove from heat on the hob. You want the milk to slowly cool to 43 degrees Celsius. Don’t try to quicken up the process, this’ll take between 1 -2 hours.

Once the milk has cooled, take your room temperature yogurt cultures and mix in a little of the warm milk, then gently but thoroughly stir the cultures into the milk - don’t use circular motions but use an up and down and side to side motion (we’re not sure why)?!

Then place a lid on the slow cooker / saucepan and wrap in a large towel to help retain heat and let it sit for 10-12 hours / overnight.

You should then have yogurt! If you desire thicker yogurt you can look to strain the mixture through a muslin cloth to separate the whey but we often don’t bother / need too.

Jar up your yogurt and place in the fridge - make sure you save some of your yogurt in a separate jar to have ready to make your next batch and you should never have to buy yogurt in a plastic tub again!

Occasionally you may end up with yogurt soup where the mixture hasn’t set - this has happened to us once so far, we’re not sure why, potentially the milk wasn’t hot enough, but whats left is still good enough to eat and use and will still have plenty of good bacteria!

Instructions and recipe based on:

Daring Gourmet

Chelsea Green

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