Thursday, January 21, 2010
Making yogurt at home is incredibly easy and does not require much specialized equipment. However, as most fermentations go, it is a somewhat lengthy project. If you have a yogurt maker, feel free to use it. If not, try this method. A hot water bottle can be used in place of the heating pad. The only important factor is that the milk must remain at a temperature around 110 degrees for 8 hours or so. The desired thickness is up to you. Strain until it reaches a consistency of your liking. We used a dollop of Fage Greek yogurt to start our yogurt, but in the future, we will not be using a commercially produced starter. With every batch made, we will set aside enough to begin the next batch.
Once the process is finished, you may use it as a spread (IE. on a smoked salmon sandwich), as the base for dips, sauces, and dressings, or as a simple breakfast. For a relatively unprocessed granola recipe, check out this link to the Boston Globe. A recipe that I have made many times, it was contributed by my predecessor, the former pastry chef at Flour Bakery and Cafe and the current owner of Ula Cafe, Korinn Koslofsky.
1 half gallon skim milk
2 heaping tablespoons yogurt (as a starter)
1. In a large bowl, set over a large pot of simmering water, heat to milk to 185 degrees, stirring often.
2. Remove the bowl from pot and cool, stirring, until the milk reaches 110 degrees.
3. Whisk in yogurt.
4. Pour mixture into a non-reactive container (like glass or stainless steel). Cover the opening of the container with cheesecloth, butcher paper, or a coffee filter. Secure with a rubber band.
5. Place container inside a cooler, and wrap container with a heating pad. Place lid on cooler. Turn on heating pad in order to maintain a temperature of 110 degrees inside the cooler for 8-10 hours. We set our heating pad on medium, but you will have to experiment with your own.
6. Chill yogurt in refrigerator overnight. At this stage, you may consume the yogurt, but we prefer a thicker style.
7. Place yogurt in cheesecloth or a very fine mesh sieve. Wrap the yogurt inside the cloth, and suspend it over a container in the refrigerator. Allow the yogurt to drain overnight.
8. Check consistency of yogurt. If it is too stiff for your liking, stir in some of the liquid that collected in the container.