I love home made yoghurt. I think it tastes better, it is far more economical and it is easy to make. It is also sugar and gelatine free with no artificial colours or flavourings and you know exactly what was going in it. I have been making yoghurt for over a year now and my family love it. I have just recently taught my mum how to make it also. It is great for my sister who is lactose intolerant, I am able to make her yoghurt with her lactose free milk.
The milk I used for this batch is a local milk from the beautiful Adelaide Hills, B.D Farm Paris Creek (http://www.bdfarmpariscreek.com.au/Home.html), I have used a full-cream milk but you can also use light milk.
In this batch I have used four litres of milk but regularly use six litres. From Six litres of milk I usually obtain a yield of three litres of yoghurt, but it does depend on how long you strain it for which also increases the thickness of the yoghurt.
I use a double boiler to bring the milk to a temperature of 85 degree celsius. Once it reaches temperature I let it sit at temperature for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes has been reached I then drop temperature to 38 degrees celsius, I do this by putting the milk into a cold water bath (alternatively you also let this naturally air cool, just for longer). When the milk has dropped to 38 degrees celsius I then spike the milk with yoghurt culture, I use two heaped tablespoons. The yoghurt culture I used originally was a natural yoghurt that contained active cultures or you can alternatively use freeze dried cultures (http://www.makeyourownyogurt.com/make-yogurt/what-you-need). Also, as a side note, once you have completed your first batch of yoghurt you can use it as the starter from then on. I then strain milk into a large pot and cover. I place on a heat pad at 38 degrees celsius, and leave for 7 hours or overnight (covered by a tea-towel).
After Yoghurt has sat for said period of time, I place a cheese cloth into a large strainer and transfer yoghurt across. Leave to strain the whey off for as long as desired, the longer you strain the thicker your yoghurt. I like my yoghurt really thick so I strain for a good hour or more. You don’t have to strain your yoghurt you can eat from pot set but is quite a watery mixture with all the why left in it. Once stained to desired thickness (baring in mind that it will also thicken more once placed in fridge) transfer to containers and refrigerate. Your yoghurt is now ready to eat.
I like to eat my yoghurt natural but you can also flavour it. My youngest son loves it with honey or blueberries stirred through. My hubby likes it with walnuts and maple syrup. When apricots are is season I make an apricot puree to stir through. But really the possibilities are endless you just need to use your imagination.
As for the Whey (the by product left after straining )there are many uses:
- It is great for the garden (my roses love it).
- Animals love it, especially my dogs, and it is very good for them being full of protein.
- You can also use it for baking breads, cakes etc.
- yoghurt starter
- two large saucepans one slightly larger then the other
- cheese cloth
- heat pad