Homemade Yogurt. Have you ever made it? Since I was a little girl we made yogurt at home, no fancy pots, or kits. A simple, old-fashioned, tried and true procedure that made beautifully thick yogurt ever time, until about 10 years ago.
The trick to making yogurt is to have a live, active-culture starter, ie… one cup of store bought yogurt to infuse the active bacteria to grow in a pot of fresh, warm milk. In many ways it’s like making bread, in that yeast bread needs live, active yeast to make it rise and become a beautifully swollen loaf of bread.
If the yogurt, from the store, does not have live, active culture in it, the yogurt simply remains a pot of milk. All yogurt brands claim to have live culture. I have found this to be ‘fake’ advertising. (sorry, but I am telling the truth)
Five years ago I did an experiment. I bought 8 different well known brands and set out to make a small batch of yogurt with each one, carefully marking which was which. The next morning when I should have woke to lovely firm milk yogurt, instead I woke to 8 pots of runny, watery milk!
This weekend my sister told me about a yogurt brand she loves. Said it was from a small batch, private production company and thought I might try making yogurt with it. In truth, the only reason I decided to try making it, was to prove that yet again the yogurt companies are getting away with misrepresentation.
I was WRONG! Yay!!! Finally! The yogurt worked perfectly as a live active culture starter for making my own stash of yogurt. It was just as I always remembered it.
My mom was Syrian. As a child I learned that most meat, in the Middle Eastern culture, was eaten with yogurt because it aided in the digestion of the meat. The probiotics in the yogurt were exactly what the body needed to process the meat internally.
While I am not sharing my success story with you to sell yogurt, I do want to give credit where credit it due, particularly in a world that markets falsehood to us. The yogurt company is NANCY’S. The link is here for you to find a store near you to either eat this yogurt or use it to make your own. Speaking of which, I will tell you right now, how! (Sorry, I got winded in sharing my enthusiasm with you 😉
- Yogurt Starter – 1 cup, room temperature store bought yogurt with Real, Live, Active Culture
- Milk – 4 cups, room temperature
Pour milk into a heavy pot. On medium heat bring the milk slowly to a low boil. As it begins to boil, a bubble of skin will begin to rise. Let it rise for a few seconds, then turn off the stove. Wait 5 minutes and turn it back on to do the same. Turn off, and do this one more time. I know this sounds kookie but it’s the way it was always done, 3 times to rise the bubble of skin.
Allow the milk to cool so that you can hold a finger in the warm milk to the count of 10. (kookie again?) If it is too hot to hold your finger that long then it will kill the active culture in the starter. If it is cold, it will not begin the fermentation process.
Add the starter. Whisk it well. Cover tightly, (I put plastic wrap over the pot and then the lid). Place in a draft-free place over night or for 8 hours. I put it in my oven, with the oven off.
After 8 or so hours, place the pot in the fridge until it chills. You should now have your own beautiful homemade yogurt. Remember to save 1 cup of your homemade yogurt to start your next batch!