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Make your own yogurt. Easy homemade yogurt tastes better!
Thick and creamy homemade yogurt
How to make yogurt
Make you own yogurt
Making your own yogurt is a very easy thing to do, and will save you money, as well as make a far superior product to commercially available yogurts. There is no need to pay extra for a live culture yogurt, make your own, and it will always be a live culture yogurt!
Yogurt is made simply be allowing natural and beneficial bacteria to sour and thicken milk. The process will is easily done in your kitchen, and you need no special equipment. Once you have made a batch of yoghurt, you can continue to make more yogurt, simply by using the last bit of a batch of yogurt to make your next batch. Homemade yogurt is the perfect accompaniment to summer fruit, and is a fun and easy thing to make.
The first thing that you will need when making a batch of yogurt, is a starter batch of yogurt that contains live and active cultures. These yogurts have recently become popular, are easy to find, and will be clearly labeled as having active cultures. As a general rule, the lower the proportion of a yogurt starter you add, the tarter the eventual yogurt will be.
I don't tend to worry very much about exact proportions, and the yogurt always turns out great. I use about 1 cup of live culture yogurt per 2 liters of milk. You can use any type of milk that you prefer, but for the richest yogurt, use homogenized milk (additionally, you can further enrich your yogurt by adding additional skim milk powder to your milk. This increases the proportion of milk solids, and will make a thicker yogurt. I generally don't bother to do this.).
Mix together your milk and your active culture yogurt. Use a clean bowl and spoon when mixing. Many people suggest steaming all instruments to touch the yogurt, as a way to prevent contamination, but I don't do this, and never have a problem.
The bacteria in yogurt are heat loving bacteria, and will multiply fastest, and work best at about 37 degrees Celsius. You should try to maintain an even temperature for the duration of your yogurt making. The way that I do this is by heating a very large pot of water to 37 degrees, and simply placing my yogurt pot to float and bob in this much larger pot of water. Water will retain its heat fairly well, so you as long as you check the temperature occasionally, and reheat as needed, it will say pretty close to the ideal temperature.
The yogurt will probably have thickened in 3 or 4 hours, but will remain relatively mild. If you prefer a very tart yogurt, let the yogurt culture remain incubating for as long as 8 to 12 hours. Keep tasting it, and when it tastes sour enough, it is done.
This yogurt will keep for a few days in the fridge. You can freeze a portion of the yogurt to act as a starter for your next batch, but you can't realty eat yogurt after it has been frozen.
Your own homemade yogurt will taste great, and is satisfying to make.
Try making yogurt cheese
Making homemade yogurt cheese is a great way to use up extra yogurt, and makes a fantastic cheese spread. Simply line a couple of layers of cheesecloth over a colander, and place the colander in a bowl; and allow the yogurt to drain for 12 to 24 hours in the fridge. the yogurt will thicken appreciably, and when salted, will taste like a fresh cheese (which it actually is).
Try adding your favorite herbs for a great variation on delicious yogurt cheese.