For a couple of years now I’ve been inspired by my friend JuJu over at The Skinny Daily Post to make my own yogurt. She makes it sound so easy in her recipe. But, I had two problems keeping me from trying it: 1) An old, drafty house that has a stove with no pilot light; and 2) two nosey cats.
Since Bill’s and my raw milk supply has increased for the summer, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to figure out my approach to making yogurt. After doing some research online, I decided to buy a Euro-Cuisine yogurt maker, which I found at Williams-Sonoma. It’s basically just an incubator–but it’s also cat-proof!
It comes with these cute little six-ounce jars to make seven individual servings ready to go. You can change the number in the lid to the production date.
Between the manufacturer’s instructions and the instructions on the yogurt starter that came with the machine, I figured out the process and had success.
As with JuJu’s recipe, the first step is to bring the milk to boiling, around 180 degrees F, for 1-2 minutes. I use a candy thermometer to watch the temperature.
Then you have to get the milk down to lukewarm (about 110 degrees F), which you can expedite by setting the pan in another pan of cold water and ice.
If you have yogurt starter, you mix it into the lukewarm yogurt at this point. You can also use plain yogurt. This recipe calls for 6 ounces, or one jar-ful.
Once you’ve blended the yogurt (or starter) with the milk, you pour it into the cute little jars.
Then you put the jars in the Euro-Cuisine. It has a separate section that holds the lids, which go on after the yogurt is done.
The incubation times vary depending on the fat content, according to the instructions. I don’t know the exact fat content of our raw milk once I skim off the cream but I took a guess that it’s about 2%. So I set the timer for 9 or 10 hours, since I’m still experimenting. (The manufacturer suggests 7 hours for whole milk and up to 10 hours for skim milk.)
I have found it’s easiest to start the process at night and let the yogurt “cook” while I sleep. The fat rises to create a lovely shade of yellow on top.
All you do is put the lids on, let them cool slightly, and put them in the fridge. I prefer making plain yogurt so I can mix it with whatever I want for breakfast–either in a smoothie or blended with seasonal fruit. This time of year: strawberries! It’s also a good substitute for sour cream, and Bill can eat it since it’s a raw milk product, not pasteurized.
Next step in my experiment? Buy Greek yogurt starter to make Greek yogurt!