Thursday, March 10, 2011

anyone make homemade yogurt?

You have probably already heard me drone on in some other venue about my quest to make delicious yogurt. I want to make thick, tangy plain yogurt. I love plain yogurt for many reasons and I want to make my own. I day. Maybe with your help!

Using one particular recipe three times, I have made: yogurt of reasonable texture that K wouldn't touch and gave me & S iffy tummies, baked milk and drinkable yogurt. I want to like this recipe because it's really simple but I don't have a warm setting on my oven (lowest temp is 170) and the wattage of the oven light doesn't seem provide enough warmth, so I don't think this is going to be the method for me. (I can't even find my paper copy of this recipe tonight...I bet K hid it from me!)

After my most recent two attempts, I did more reading about homemade yogurt. You can do it as many ways as there are ways to keep something warmish for a while:

swaddled crockpot method

swaddled crock in an unwarmed oven method

tepid water bath in a cooler method

there's even a thermos method, people.

Hillbilly's been around the yogurt bend and back and has her preferences.

Of course, there's the whole "get a yogurt maker" part of the conversation...
As I'm pretty sure that the incubation temp is my main issue, (see the troubleshooting section below) so I'm tempted by this prospect. I shy away from the maker, though, b/c I don't want to buy culture separately/specially. I want to use yogurt to start yogurt. I also don't like the taste of powdered non-fat dry milk so I'm feeling wimpy about how many maker recipes call for those two ingredients.

Troubleshooting has taught me:
Not all yogurt has live culture; you have to look for a stamp that specifies "live."
Non-organic milk with residual antibiotics can actually kill the culture you're trying to grow.
The temp of the incubator has to stay consistent and fairly low.

I welcome the thoughts of your food-lovin' brains. Have you made it? Successfully? Do you have/use a maker? What was the outcome of that venture? Do you use the powdered milk or the freeze-dried culture? Is the taste right? Consistency?

Bear forth your yogurt wisdom and bestow it upon me, a willing pupil.


g. said...

I highly admire your dedication to this task, but I have absolutely no hints or suggestions for you because I have never tried it and also will never try it in the future. Something about culturing milk squicks me out (in fact, the mere phrase "baked milk" is enough to put me off of it forever).

We could switch partners on this; J. would love experimenting with you, and K. and I could just buy our yogurt at the grocery store and live in happy ignorance...

hefk said...

Thanks dude. Sorry to squick you out.

See if J is interested in the spouse-swap for yogurt-making & get back to me.