August 9th, 2010 browsing by day


Yogurt Recipe from the New York Times

Monday, August 9th, 2010

After Esther was old enough to eat I figured I would try my hand at some basic yogurt recipes. Organic yogurt is insanely expensive and all yogurt is is milk with a little starter. I looked through some recipes online and settled on a technique I found in the New York Times. I had to tweak it a little so here is my formula:

1. What you have to start out with is Milk (we use whole milk since it is Esther’s yogurt, plus it makes it extra delicious) and starter yogurt. The NYT recommends a basic grocery store yogurt as a starter, nothing too fancy. Just make sure it has live bacteria in it. You will want 2 Tbs of yogurt for every quart of milk.

Pour milk into a pot and heat at a high heat. Make sure to use a thermometer because temperature has to be closely watched through the whole process.

Cold milk ready to heat.

2. Heat milk on high heat until it reaches 180-190 degrees. Watch it closely! Any hotter it will boil over. You want it to just barely start bubbling.

3. Take pot off heat source and allow milk to cool to 120 degrees.

4. Take yogurt starter and mix in a half cup of milk from the pot to  to thin it out. Add it all back in to the pot of milk and wisk the yogurt and milk together.

5. I use my crockpot for the “setting” step, the step that allows the bacteria to multiply and turn the milk into yogurt. The key for setting yogurt is to keep it between 110-120 degrees for 4-6 hours. There are many techniques for doing this that you can find on yogurt making web sites. This has been the best one for me. I add water to the crockpot up to about an inch  – enough to just touch the bottom of the pot when you place it inside.
Level of water in the Crockpot

6. Place pot in the crockpot. I use a two handled pot for this reason. I don’t like it to touch the sides of the crockpot, just have a little of the water touching the bottom.

7. The crockpot needs to be on the WARM setting (not high or low, you want to maintain the temperature, not raise it). Depending on what the temperature is doing, I either put a lid ajar on the pot or not.

What the yogurt looks like after setting for 4-6 hours. Note is it still at the same temperature.

8. The longer you set the yogurt for and the higher the temperature (ie 120 as opposed to 110), the tangier the yogurt will be. Experiment to see what you prefer. DON’T stir or jiggle the yogurt. It won’t set well.

The Yogurt Out of the Fridge

8. Put yogurt in fridge to cool. If you want a very solid yogurt (less liquid whey) you can strain it through a cheese cloth. I don’t, but it is an option that the NYT article goes into more. The photo above is what unstrained yogurt will look like out of the fridge.

Final Product!

Delicious!! Add granola and honey, or in Esther’s case, applesauce and fruit. Happy eating!