This is an account of my first attempts at yoghurt making. Photos will follow later.
live yoghurt + milk + time = more yoghurt + whey
more yoghurt + milk + time = even more yoghurt + even more whey
----------- 1 litre milk makes 500ml yoghurt --- costs 90p
----------- 500ml supermarket yoghurt --------- costs £1.50 - £2.00
Yoghurt is created by the action of bacteria upon milk.
The functioning bacteria, there are several types, are present in live, unpasteurised yoghurt.
One tablespoon of live yoghurt is plenty to convert a litre of milk.
Yoghurt can range between thick and thin, creamy and acidic and can be made to suit any particular taste.
Temperature, time and specific bacteria used, each have a hand in the flavour and texture of the end product.
Temperature needs to be kept roughly in the range 40-50°C.
Times can vary from 3 hours to 24 hours.
Starter yoghurts can contain a couple of strains of bacteria, some will contain four or five.
Lots of flavourings can be added to yoghurt, but the starter must be plain and unpasteurised.
Here is a brief list of live yoghurts commonly available in supermarkets.
This list is not comprehensive, but will get you started:
from the internet, I quote:
TOTAL Fage Classic Greek is superb. Even their 0% is gorgeous
Yeo Valley – Their Greek is gorgeous, but also their green natural pot.
Rachel’s and Onken Natural – are both very nice!
Marks & Spencer and Lidl's Greek are excellent!
Tesco’s Greek and Sainsbury's Greek are also fine.
There are lots of outlines of methods on the internet.
I found this one by an Australian guy, which worked, with slight modification, for me.
This method is one among many.
I aimed, successfully, to create a creamy, thick, greek style yoghurt.
This is achieved by controlling temperature, time and starter.
I will post pictures next time I put a batch together but for now I hotch-potched a method together. [see next post, below]
I started with the smallest pot of Fage Total Greek yoghurt. Not the cheapest but contains a few more strains of bacteria. It only took a tablespoonful. My wife devoured the remainder of the pot.
First time I did this with Channel Islands milk. Second batch I tried ordinary supermarket full fat milk. If anything the second batch was the nicer of the two.
Each time a I added dried skimmed milk powder, which bumps up flavour and texture, so I am told.
With this method the yield from one litre of milk is about 550ml yoghurt, the rest is 450ml whey which can be poured away, drunk or reused as a ingredient in the kitchen.
Re-using a spoonful of yoghurt kept back in the fridge for a starter worked fine on my recipe.
Done it twice, works for me. Won't be giving up on this.
Decided to up quantities to 2 litres milk to make 1 litre yoghurt in the future, a more realistic quantity.
Will need to heat milk directly in slow cooker, no water bath, as I couldn't fit more 500ml jars in there - I've yet to discover how that will work out.
More will follow with pictures.