Z asks for advice

Jonny, the farmer I have mentioned before (it’s he and his father whose cows graze our field) has started a new enterprise, selling milk from the farm gate.  The farm and cows have gone through the necessary testing of course, and he is licensed to sell raw milk.  Now, the thing is, I want to support him but I don’t use a lot of milk and what I do, the milkman delivers.  Of course, I want to support doorstep deliveries too, so won’t cancel that, and besides, not everyone wants to be given unpasteurised milk and I wouldn’t offer it without telling them.

I’m not going to start taking milk in tea and coffee or drinking it, but I do make a point of eating yoghurt, for the sake of the calcium.  Yes, I have discussed a bone density test with my doctor.  But anyway, that seems to me something I can do with the milk, make yoghurt.  So I am asking you for advice.

I looked up Delia you see, who is always first point of call for basics, and she suggests bringing milk to the boil, simmering it to evaporate somewhat, cooling it and going from there.  That seems a bit of a faff to be honest, so I looked elsewhere and found a method that just brings it to the temperature you want and doesn’t boil it at all.  Boiling the milk would seem to negate the benefits of raw milk – though I appreciate that it makes it possible for small children to use – and I’ve never been fond of the taste of boiled milk.  So, is it a good idea?  I have made yoghurt before, but not for 30 years and I can’t remember what I did, or even how successful it was.  So I’d appreciate some advice, please.

Thank you, darlings.

By the way, I gather that this is already over Facebook and Twitter, but it’s a genuinely unpleasant watch, whatever the back story is.

23 comments on “Z asks for advice

  1. Gledwood

    ooo i’m sorry i wish i could help you

    i eat a half litre of live blueberry yoghurt most days but have always wondered how most yoghurt manages to be “dead” while “live” yoghurt is something special… makes no sense to me

    i’m only doing it for the sake of my health

    i’ve heard you can make your own yakult or whatever bioactive yoghurty stuff you please precisely the same way you’d make yoghurt: using scoops or splashes of yakult/whatever in pasteurised milk in a warm airing cupboard

    you’ll probably get several billion times the free bacteria if you make it yourself too…

    i’ve never made yoghurt but i thought you used ordinary fresh milk? surely??

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  2. Gledwood

    ps i eat yoghurt for the sake of the bacteria: it has to do with my going to india some years ago and coming back looking healthier than ever before with no black circles under my eyes at all, i spent ages wondering what the difference in lifestyle had been. it certainly wasn’t a lack of alcohol. plus i don’t normally sunbathe yet did out there… so it might have had something to do with the sun but probably had as much if not more to do with a habit of drinking banana lassi which is made with fresh live yogurt… every day

    i’m DETERMINED to get the same effect back by eating/drinking masses of live Polish yogurt ~ I know the Polish for “live” now (zywe) so I can follow those all-important labels at last…(!)

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  3. Dave

    My mother used to make it when I was a child. She had a machine for doing it. It tasted awful.

    This probably isn’t much help.

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  4. john.g.

    We used to play cricket for the pub team and between innings the farmer whose field it was used to go back to the farm, milk a cow and serve the milk with our tea! Lovely!

    Don’t do the health and safety thing, it never hurt our Grandparents or parents.

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  5. Z

    Gledwood, ordinary fresh milk is pasteurised (I find it almost impossible not to think “Ernie, I’ll be happy if it comes up to my chest” when I see the word pasteurised), I suspect that if you use unpasteurised milk for yoghurt and don’t boil it, it won’t keep for more than a few days. I don’t really know what makes it ‘live’ either, maybe it’s not heat-treated after being made.
    You had to eat it anyway, Dave, right?
    I’m fine with using it, I’m really pleased to have somewhere local to buy it, but it isn’t everyone’s choice, John.
    Weeza makes delicious icecream with plain yoghurt, fruit and a little sugar, Rog.

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  6. PixieMum

    In the original Delia edition, ie.the one published in 3 volumes the chapter about yoghurt mentions the Deva Bridge Kit devised by Peter Bradford from Stowmarket.

    We had one of these, it made beautiful yoghurt and we wore out the insulated jar, replaced the thermometer but we still have the disc to prevent milk boiling over.

    The kit was taken with us on self catering holidays, in Cornwall we bought milk from the farm and made yoghurt with it all, delicious fresh taste. The kit had a cheese maker, bit like a sieve that fitted over the insulated jar. Made lovely soft cheese.

    The replacement is a Electric yoghurt maker from Lakeland, not quite as green as it uses electricity. We find UHT blue top milk makes best yoghurt when farm milk not available, just bring it to temperature, allow to cool before mixing with starter. Need a bit more starter with Lakeland.

    Since we cater just for the two of us we have become a bit lazy, we just grab Sainsbugs Organic giant carton or the one from Somerset.

    Perhaps I should buy some creamy milk and make it at home again. We eat enough of the stuff.

    ps Two ton Tess from Teddington makes us laugh, we are less than two miles from Teddington.

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  7. Z

    She recommends that in Frugal Food too, but by the time the 3 volume cookery course was put into one book, she just suggested a thermos flask and a thermometer.

    It sounds as though you don’t boil the milk with your electric maker?

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  8. PixieMum

    Sometimes we boil or simmer the milk so that the resulting yoghurt is thicker, don’t like the runny stuff. We use about one litre of milk, the milk saver in a large saucepan, bring it to boil gently under a low heat. Turn heat right down, set timer so you do not do what I did and forgot about the milk.

    Turn heat off, put thermometer in milk, go away and knit a few rows, read the paper or a good book then when temp is 50 degrees put some starter in bottom of tub. Pour in a little milk, mix then gradually add all milk. Plug in if using Lakeland, if you have Diva Bridge insulated jar we used to
    add to the insulation by wrapping a towel round it.

    Just a thought, put cold water in large saucepan and leave it to soak. Now go off and enjoy yourself, read, sunbathe, what ever. About 8 hours later should be creamy yoghurt, with any luck some one else will have washed upmthe saucepan and the milk saver disc.

    Keep yoghurt in fridge, save enough for new starter.

    The Deva Bridge went out of production, hence the changes in Delia.

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  9. Z

    Thank you very much, that’s very helpful. Not that there’s the least chance of the Sage washing up the saucepan, he doesn’t even put them in the dishwasher on the occasions he loads it!

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  10. 63mago

    I like yogurth and can do nice things with it, but it is made by “FrankenMilch”. Sorry.

    “Pasteurized” as I remember means that it is heated for some time up to a certain temperature, to avoid tb. “Homogenisiert” means that it is pressed through small tubes to bring the different parts in it on a homogenic level of mass. That is litterally all I know about fresh milk.

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  11. Four Dinners

    buy it drink it. I adore milk!!!! – well it’s a good stomach liner for drinking voddy and such like…er…so I’m told…;-)

    Just buy the stuff and drink it and stop worrying.

    Milk is beautiful to drink – especially chilled. I drink a pint or two every day.

    DRINK IT and be damned babe! xx

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  12. Christopher

    Did some enlightened soul mention ice cream?

    Following in Mrs East’s footsteps I too bought a yoghurt machine in the late 70s. You had to buy some commercial yoghurt to start it off, a bit like a ginger-beer plant. The kids much preferred Angel Delight. The French for yoghurt is ‘yaourt’, not a pleasant word.

    Milk cleans piano keys. Have you tried? It might work on your organ as well.

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  13. Z

    I don’t much like drinking milk. I was talking to a friend of my age the other day and he said he can’t drink milk, it takes him right back to childhood and that dreadful third of a pint bottle, left in a warm place for several hours, that primary school children had to drink at break time. On the brink of being off, you had to drink it anyway. I can drink it, but it has to be very cold. And I don’t want to. I can eat yoghurt and I want to get the calcium. And I don’t want sugar in my diet, so I don’t want to make puddings.

    Nor do I want food poisoning, BW, boiled it will be. Thank you, and for the link.

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  14. sablonneuse

    You are so lucky to have access to raw milk.I did get some from a farmer in the village butit didn’t taste like the real thing. however, I didn’t boil it before drinking (which people here usually do)and didn’t suffer any ill effects so I don’t see why you shouldn’t make your yoghurt without brnging the milk to boiling point.
    Good luck and let us know how you get on.
    (I’m stopping blogging for a while but will keep coming to see how you’re getting on.)

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  15. Z

    The Sage already drinks raw milk, which he is given by another local farmer – without a licence it can be given away but not sold. I’d not boil it before drinking fresh, but I take Blue Witch’s point – when you make yoghurt, it’s kept warm for several hours so any bugs multiply like nobody’s business. At any rate, I’d want to eat the yoghurt the same day.

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  16. Blue Witch

    If you boil milk before making yoghurt, it is likely to taste of boiled milk.

    In microbiological terms, when making yoghurt, you need to initially heat it to above 63 degrees C to kill any ‘bad’ bugs that may be lurking (the whole of the food handling regs are based on a ‘Danger Zone’ of 5 – 63 degrees and ‘risk foods’ must be kept below this and heated to above this when taking them from storage to serve). I suggested 70 to allow a few degrees leeway for inaccuarte thermometer etc.

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  17. Dandelion

    Yoghurt seems like a waste to me. What about butter, cheese, clotted cream? Hours of fun, and tasty too. Not to mention good blog-fodder. Gowarn!

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  18. Z

    Do you know how much milk is involved in making any of those, Dand? Gallons. And then there’s all that leftover buttermilk to deal with. I just want to support Jonny by buying two or three pints of milk a week, that’s all!

    Hello, Deirdre, I will check it out. And, because I don’t like boiled milk (which was the reason I doubted Delia in the first place) I shall also heed BW.

    No doubt I shall tell you all about how thin, curdled and sour my first attempts at making yoghurt turn out.

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