Yogurt becomes an everyday luxury when homemade. And it is surprisingly simple to do it yourself.
By Sasha Gora
Lately my kitchen has seen a lot of things grow. This April has sometimes felt like autumn and so I have made up for it by growing my own signs of spring. On my counter top you will find alfalfa sprouts, a bubbling sourdough starter, and a regular rotation of fresh homemade yogurt.
That is because I just can’t stop making yogurt.
There are some things that I make at home with the intention of cracking the process in order to better understand the food. Take mustard for example. I really love homemade mustard, especially fig mustard, but because I live in South Germany where different varieties of very good mustard are easy to find, I am certainly going to continue to buy mustard here and there. However, yogurt is a different story. It takes very little effort to make. You only need two ingredients. If you have a thermometer use it, but it is not necessary. And if you eat a lot of yogurt, like me, and have a thing for all things organic, like me again, then it even ends up being cheaper than buying it.
I started making yogurt when I got back from India. I have always been a big yogurt eater (my favourite childhood snack which has carried on to my adulthood is yogurt with chunks of apple and honey), but India gave me a new appreciation for yogurt, or as it is called locally curd. I came to look forward to it with every meal to balance out the spices and textures on my plate. Plus, everyone I talked to seem to know how to make it so I figured that I could make it too. No one I talked to you used a thermometer. So if you don’t have a thermometer you really don’t have an excuse. It just seemed so simple and it is. As always with dairy, use organic ingredients if you can.
I recommend making this in the evening so that you have fresh yogurt for breakfast
- 4 cups (1 Liter) whole milk (cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, as you wish)
- ½ cup (125ml) yogurt
- In a saucepan heat milk until it is just about to boil (to 180F/82C).
- Take off heat and let the temperature drop (to 110F/43C).
- Stir the ½ cup yogurt into the milk and mix well with a spoon. Cover the pot with a lid and leave in a warm spot overnight. If your kitchen is a bit on the chilly side, wrap the pot in some tea towel and leave it in your oven with the pilot light on, or close to a radiator. If you put the yogurt in the oven overnight you might want to preheat the oven first so that it is already toasty.
- In the morning transfer to a glass jar or container and refrigerate. The longer you let the yogurt sit, anywhere from 10 to 24 hours, the thicker it will be.