Saturday, December 30, 2006

Yogurty Yogurt

A few weeks ago I attempted to make homemade yogurt. The result was a nasty rubber-cement consistency that immediately went in the garbage (it was so bad, I didn't even try to feed it to the chickens). I'm not sure if the problem was with temperature or that I let it "yogurt" for too long. Maybe both.

For christmas, my sweet Mr. (who puts up with all my strange habits- and even adopts some of them himself- you should see him herd the chickens...) bought me a yogurt maker. It should actually be called a yogurt incubator, since that's the only thing it does. You still have to boil the milk and mix in the starter, then refrigerate and flavor.

My first batch in the yogurt maker was a big hit. The boys were really excited about it, and could hardly wait until it was done (you'd have thought yogurt was some rare treat). A little tart, because I only used about half the amount of sugar in the berries, and slightly runnier than store-bought yogurt (the Mr. said it was like a smoothie), but very tasty. I think if I use less water in the berry/sugar mix it will stay thicker.

My second batch just went into the fridge.

I'm very happy.

My next batch will be with powdered milk.

I wish I had taken a picture of the yogurt in the little jars when I first poured the berries on top. It looked like some sort of fancy dessert.


Emily said...

Most store-bought yogurt is thicker because it has added thickeners. We usually buy a brand that is made European-style (without thickeners), it comes from an organic dairy in Marin county and they don't put anything in it but the milk and cultures (and sugar plus vanilla or maple if it's flavored). I like to get plain yogurt and mix it with jam if I want fruit flavor. So your yogurt sounds like it's closer to the real thing. However you might experiment with pectin as a thickener.

Allie said...

The powdered milk makes even thinner yogurt than regular milk. It doesn't have to be boiled first though, since the milk cultures are already killed. For me, that's a good thing, since I burn milk in the pan whenever I try to boil it. :)

I just read you can add a tsp of plain gelatin to the yogurt to thicken it too. I might have to keep making lots of yogurt until I find a recipe that works really well.

The yogurt tastes good, and the kids eat it as fast as I can make it, so I don't think anyone will mind.