Monday, January 2, 2012

Yogurt

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Quart jar of fresh yogurt
Note:  Updated recipe and instructions can be found here.  
So the recipe in this post is for yogurt, but for me the real star is the local honey.  My favorite way to eat yogurt is with a drizzle of really good honey and sliced bananas.  I don't really care for bananas very much but this is one time I eat them and like them - with yogurt and honey!  My kids prefer to eat yogurt with a spoonful of their favorite jam mixed in - strawberry or raspberry or even maple apple butter.  I have found creating a yogurt bar makes this breakfast or snack extra special for them.  I just give each child a generous bowl of yogurt and then set out a selection of jams and a bit of granola for crunchy topping and suddenly it is fun for them and they can custom make their own favorite flavor of the day.

Local honey
This recipe makes 2 quarts of yogurt, which sounds like a lot.  I was worried at first I would never get through it all but I figured since it will keep nearly a month in the fridge I was safe.  I could definitely find ways to use 2 quarts in a month, easy.  Well.  I have been making a batch a week since I started this project 2 months ago ... I would never have guessed.  I find that I can use yogurt in place of sour cream or mayonnaise, and by straining it and letting it thicken up it works well as a stand in for ricotta or cream cheese too.  I now toss yogurt in nearly all of my baked goods recipes.  For my bread, it adds a level of tenderness and moistness that is addictive.  Muffins and waffles are so much better with a touch of yogurt in the batter.   Amazing stuff.

Yogurt


Michelle K.
You can use any milk that you would like for the recipe - skim, 1%, 2%, whole milk. I prefer whole milk for yogurt making, even though I drink lowfat milk.

Ingredients


  • 8 cups milk
  • 4 tbs yogurt, be sure this is living active culture yogurt (just ask me for some of mine!)

Instructions


  1. Clean out a 2qt thermos and then fill it with hot tap water. Do NOT fill it with boiling water - you just want to warm the interior of the thermos so that it does not chill your yogurt mixture but you do not want it to heat your mixture either.
  2. In a large pot add the 8 cups of milk and start warming it on a medium flame. Attach your thermometer and if you are using a fancy remote alarm one, set it to 183 (F). As soon as the milk reaches this temperature move the pot off the hot burner onto a cold one. Let the milk cool on its own down to 110 (F).
  3. While the milk is cooling, measure out the 4 tablespoons of living yogurt into a one cup measuring cup. As soon as the milk reaches 110 (F), remove any skin that may have formed and then add about a cup of the warm milk to the waiting yogurt. Whisk completely, then pour all of this into your pot. Again, whisk thoroughly, making sure that your culture is well incorporated into the milk.
  4. Empty the water out of the thermos and pour the warm yogurt in. Cap the thermos tightly and let it sit on your counter 3 - 4 hours. I peek at the yogurt at about 3 hours and decide if it is thick enough or if I want more thickness. You can leave the yogurt on the counter for a good 8 hours but this will make for a very tangy version. I tend to like my yogurt thick, well set, but still on the mild side.
  5. Pour the final product into 2 quart jars and refrigerate. Make sure you don't use every bite, saving the last 4 tablespoons for your new batch.
Yield: 2 quarts, 8 servings

Prep Time: 00:05
Cook time: 00:20

Nutrition

Calories: 127
Total carbs: 12