Make your own: Yogurt

With food in the shops so expensive and most of us trying to reduce our waste, this is one of many things that you can make in no time, saving you money and waste.

I hope you enjoy the new items on 'how to make your own' on this blog, if you have any requests on how to make other stuff, send me an email and I'll see what I can do.

Yogurt is created by the propagation of bacteria cultures. Basically, if you place a tablespoon of yogurt in a glass of milk, the bacteria will reproduce and spread through the milk, and within 6 to 12 hours, transform the milk to yogurt. But yogurt cultures are "fussy" -- the milk must be boiled first in order to remove any competing bacteria and then cooled to a lukewarm temperature so that the yogurt bacteria won't be killed by high heat or use UHT milk (as it has been boiled before) and bring the milk to 120F. This usually takes no longer than 2 minutes.

Recipe: Yield 1 Liter of runny yoghurt or 500ml of 'greek style' yoghurt

1 liter milk (use the UHT type)
1 table spoon bought plain yogurt when you first start, after that use some of the previously made yoghurt.
1 wide necked thermosflask

approximate cost: 1 litre of yogurt £o.45 in shop £0.70
500 gr Greek style yogurt: £0.28 or £0.95 in shop.

  1. Pour the UHT milk into a sauce pan or boil milk then let cool to 120 degrees F.
  2. Heat to 120 degrees F.
  3. Stir in the yogurt and pour the mixture into a clean wide necked thermosflask.

INCUBATE: Allow the yogurt to incubate for 5 to 6 hours.

The yogurt is ready when it retains the impression of a spoon pressed into the surface. If the yogurt doesn't "yog", either the heat wasn't consistent or the original boiled milk wasn't cooled enough.

At this point you can either leave it as it is and you have 1 litre of yogurt, or you pour the yogurt into a jelly bag and let it drain for 1 or 2 hours. This then gives a thick creamy yogurt and the whey can be used for breadbaking.

Almond extract
Vanilla extract
Fresh fruits, such as blackberries, strawberries, peaches, etc.
Coffee flavor

TIPS! For low-fat yogurt, or low-fat substitute for sour cream, use low-fat milk. For a richer yogurt, use a mixture of whole milk and cream.
It's usually best to make yogurt before you go to bed, so the cultures can work when they're least likely to be disturbed.

Don't try to make yogurt and bread on the same day. Yogurt cultures hate competition and yeast in the air seems to make them roll over and go to sleep.

New batches should be made every 4-5 days to keep the culture active and the flavour good.