I want to make my own yoghurt. Yes, yoghurt is readily available here, but the only commercial yoghurt available in decent quantities (500 mL containers, for example) are thickened with gelatin, even the ones that have some amount of yoghurt culture, as it’s called here.
I suppose they call it yoghurt culture because if they called it bacterial culture, no one would eat the stuff. Lack of education in these things.
Anyway. To me, it seems that there is not enough friendly bacteria in the yoghurt. How can there be if it still requires gelatin to thicken? So I would rather make my own and see if I can come up with something better.
I did a Google search (because, of course, where else would I start looking but Google?) and I found a few interesting things.
I say interesting because they talk about making yoghurt in a way that is completely different from how my mother made it when I was a child. She had a heating element thingy that was specifically for making yoghurt.
These directions don’t ask for any such things.
This is my favorite:
Ingredients and Equipment
*Milk (whole, nonfat, or lowfat)
*small quantity of yoghurt
*plastic or ceramic bowl
Heat milk slowly in a saucepan until it reaches 185F (85C). If you don’t have a thermometer, heat the milk until bubbles begin to appear around the edges of the pan. (be careful to keep stirring the milk or it will burn on the bottom and make a crust) Cool the milk until it is down to 110F (45C), or lukewarm.
Put the yoghurt in a small bowl (about 1/4 cup for a gallon of milk, or 2 Tbs for 4 cups of milk) and stir until it is soft. stir in about 1/2 cup of warm milk with yoghurt until it is all mixed well. Add this yoghurt mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk, stirring SLOWLY, or it will become sour or tart.
Rinse the bowl you are using with hot water and then pour in the yoghurt/milk mixture. Put on the lid firmly and then wrap the bowl in at least two layers of bath towels to keep the heat in. Set the towel covered bowl aside for at least 6 hours, usually overnight. Afterwards, store the yoghurt in the refigerator.
This one is my favorite because it means that I don’t need to get any fancy equipment, not even a thermometer. I can do it as is.
Now to get a decent yoghurt starter. An unsweetened, unflavored, nothing added yoghurt is best. Can such be found here? Don’t know yet. Will have to look.
# Everything must be as clean as possible.
# Never use sweetened or flavoured yoghurt as a starter: it must be natural yoghurt (you can use the low-fat variety). If you’re making yoghurt continuously, you can in fact set aside 1 teaspoon of the previous batch to start the next, but every three months or so it is best to start with commercially made yoghurt (as this will have the right balance of culture). Home-made yoghurt can be made with long-life, skimmed or even powdered milk, but I think whole fresh milk makes the best.
Since whole powdered milk is the most readily available milk here, it’s what I’ll be using.