So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday's Meal

Sometime ago, I mentioned that I would talk about making yogurt. Making yogurt is almost ridiculously easy once you figure out the process. After that, you can make it into flavored yogurt or drinkable yogurt -- or use it however you normally would use plain yogurt.

The worst part is figuring out the process. Probably the hardest part is finding out what method works best for maintaining a consistent warm environment for the yogurt to 'set up.' This is the method I use and which has always worked well for me.

You'll need two tablespoons of plain yogurt with live active cultures (like Dannon) to act as your starter. I usually freeze it in tablespoon size portions and just take out what I need and allow it to thaw. Set it out and allow it to come to room temperature.

Next, you'll need to blend together, preferably with a whisk, 1 quart of milk and 1/2 cup dry milk powder in a saucepan. Warm it (watching closely so it doesn't burn) to 180 degrees.

After that, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool to 115 degrees. This is probably the worst part of the process because it seems to take forever. If you make the yogurt before you go to bed, you can watch tv or do something productive (like talk to your hubby) while you wait.

Once its cool, add 1/2 cup of the warm milk to your starter yogurt and whisk it together. Add it back to the saucepan and whisk it well. This is important. Make sure you get it all blended together well. Then pour it into a glass jar or crock with a lid.

There are many ways to do the final step of the process. You can use a yogurt making machine. Other people set it on a heating pad and cover with a pan. I have an electric oven and this is the method that has always worked the best for me.

Turn the oven on its warm setting. Mine is about 170 although the oven I used to have just said "Warm" and the next number was 200 degrees or so. I wrap the jar tightly in a towel and secure it to help insulate the warmth it still has.

Once the oven has preheated, turn it off. Then turn on the oven light. Place the jar inside the oven, close the door, and let it stay in its nice warm bed for about 6 - 8 hours or, preferably, while I go to my own bed (aka. overnight). In the morning, when you pull it out, you'll have a jar full of plain yogurt to do with as you will.

Congratulations! You just made plain yogurt. Hillbilly Housewife has a great recipe for making custard style yogurt. You can also mix juice with some yogurt until you get the right consistency for drinkable yogurt.

No comments: