I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t eat yoghurt, in some shape or form. I really do think it is possibly one of my favourite foods. It is delicious eaten straight from the tub, dolloped on top of a salad, served with meat or vegetables on top of porridge and muesli. It also makes a great base for deliciously thick salad dressings. The list goes on!
Each week I buy tubs of the stuff and always love trying new brands - I am forever on the hunt to find the best natural and Greek yoghurts. As I eat my way through so much of the stuff I thought it a good idea to actually give making it a go. I had heard rumours that it’s quite tricky, then read up about it online to find many write that it’s quite a simple process. I tested this recipe at least 10 times using different milks, different starters and different incubating times. The results always varied, however this is half the fun of making yoghurt. Each time you make it is a little different, and I can tell you it tastes rather different to store bought yoghurt too.
Home made yoghurt is very delicate, it has a vey fine consistency and the longer you leave it to incubate the sharper the bite gets. It is much wetter than store bought yoghurts. Often when yoghurt is mass produced, milk powders and thickeners are added to stiffen the yoghurt. You can give this a try when making it if you’re after a thicker consistency. I also thought that a full fat milk would result in a creamier yoghurt than using a light milk, but I found the results were pretty much the same. However, I do recommend using full fat milk as it is a little more unrefined than light or skim.Yogurt really is a miracle food. It is a great source of protein and calcium and is fantastic for your gut as it is packed with probiotics. These help improve your digestive health and keep all of the bacteria in your gut healthy. They also help to boost your immune system, so a good time of year to be eating yoghurt and keeping the nasties away!
You don’t need many ingredients, but a couple of tools are essential to making yoghurt-
Yoghurt incubator or insulated fridge bag
1L glass jar
I have a yoghurt insulator, (OMG I sound like a total geek!) I bought this from Woolworths for around $20. If you don’t have one of these you could use an insulated cooler bag or a small eski.
1 litre full fat milk
3 tbs full fat natural/Greek yoghurt with live active cultures
HOW IT’S DONE
Place the milk in a saucepan and very gently bring the milk up to 82 degrees, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat as soon as it hits this temperature. Let the milk cool to 43 degrees and gently whisk in the 3 tbs of yoghurt. Once combined, pour into the glass jar or if you have a yoghurt incubator it comes with a plastic container so pour the mixture into there.
Pour boiling water into the incubator as per the instructions. Place the container of yoghurt inside and secure the lid. Let this rest for 8-12 hours until set. Remove form the incubator and refrigerate until completely cool.
Insulated Fridge Bag-
Once the yoghurt is in it’s jar, place this in the fridge bag and seal the bag. Let it sit for 8-12 hours in a warm place until set. Remove from the bag and refrigerate until completely cool.
If you want to make a thicker yoghurt try adding a couple of tablespoons of milk powder when heating up the milk. A great way to enjoy the yoghurt is with fresh fruit, nuts and a little honey. I’ve found some of the late season figs to be amazing- give it a try and let me know how you go!
Photography by Phu Tang