Yoghurt

Very simple and straightforward.  I use a Thermos flask nowadays and, once it’s made, decant it into a couple of jam jars.

I’ve found that the best thing to do is to use whole (full fat) milk; a pint plus a third to a half of another pint, including the cream.  Rinse a saucepan, because using a wet pan helps to stop it sticking, and bring the milk to the boil.  Take it off the heat and let it cool down to 120ºF/49ºC.  You can put the pan in a bowl of iced water, but I don’t usually bother.  While the milk is heating, I pour some hot water into the Thermos, leave it for a few moments and pour it out again, just so it isn’t cold when I put the milk in.

Once the milk has cooled down to the right temperature, I put a spoonful of yoghurt into the Thermos and add a little of the milk, stir it (using the handle of the wooden spoon) and then add the rest of the milk, in two or three lots, stirring as I go.  Then I put the lid on the flask and leave it for at least 6 hours.

If I’ve used enough creamy milk, then I can pour it into the jars and it’ll be perfect.  If I’ve been a bit short and had to use some skimmed milk, then there’s some visible whey.  In that case, I just tip it carefully into a sieve (over a bowl, to be on the safe side) and discard the surplus whey (or soak it in bread for the chickens).  In that case, you’ll get a bit less yoghurt and it might have a slightly granular texture, but it’ll taste the same.

I suspect it’d be fabulous with Jersey milk or a carton of single cream, but I haven’t tried.  Every few batches, you need to start with a spoonful of bought yoghurt.

I tried, once, just to heat the milk up to the required temperature, rather than boiling it and letting it cool.  It didn’t work.  It just didn’t turn to yoghurt.  I don’t know the chemistry, but boiling it makes the difference.

3 comments on “Yoghurt

  1. Blue Witch

    Thank you!

    I used to make yoghurt 30+ years ago when I had a source of farm milk, using a yoghurt maker (heated base and plastic cartons).

    I’m increasingly finding I don’t like shop-bought plain yoghurt (and it’s harder to get organic with a good texture) so I thought I’d start making some again.

    Do you use a live bacteria yoghurt to start off? Is any particular brand better than others?

    Reply
    1. Z Post author

      I use Yeo Valley, it’s fine – haven’t tried with any others. Of course, if you want a set yoghurt you’d need to use a wide-mouthed insulated jar.

      Reply
  2. Blue Witch

    Thank you! I shall report back…

    I think the idea of heating to boiling point and then cooling is to kill off anything ‘alive’ in the original milk so that it doesn’t interact with the microbes etc in the new spoon of existing yoghurt ‘starter’.

    Reply

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