Making yogurt-- with raw milk! (and other yogurt-related questions)
Once again Alton Brown has inspired me to purchase some new kitchen gizmos (namely a digital probe thermometer) and tinker with things that Sandra Lee would never touch.
I have linked the recipe below. Note that alton uses honey (in order to curb the sour tang) and milk powder (to provide extra protein to create a more solid curd).
My questions for you senior home-yogurt makers:
1. Is your recipe significantly different from Alton's?
2. If I wanted to add vanilla extract (or seeds) to the recipe, when would the proper time be? I would think that the alcohol in the extract could kill the bacteria I need to make the yogurt.
3. If I wanted to use raw milk (which we can purchase in California), will the recipe still work? Or will the extra bacteria in the raw milk eat the yogurt-making bacteria?
4. It is not mentioned in the recipe, but in the TV episode he covers the incubation vessel. Is this necessary? Does it help to cut back on the thickness of the skin that forms on top?
Any other yogurt making suggestions would be most appreciated. I did it the hard way (by babysitting for 7 hours in a gas oven I was constantly adjusting) but alton uses the heating pad method which I will have to try next time.
Home Made Yogurt My Way
1 ¼-ounce envelope unflavored gelatin
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 cups instant nonfat dry milk
1 12-fl.oz. can evaporated milk
4 heaping Tbs. plain starter yogurt
1 large heatproof ceramic bowl
1. Soften the gelatin by adding cold water and sugar to make 1 cup. Heat in microwave for 1½ minutes. Let mixture cool a bit.
2. Preheat the oven to 275º.
3. Mix 3 cups of powdered milk with 3 cups water. Add evaporated milk, 1½ more cups of warm water, and gelatin-sugar mixture.
4. Add 4 heaping tablespoons of yogurt and thoroughly stir it in.
5. Cover the bowl, put it in the oven and TURN OFF THE OVEN. Leave the bowl in the oven overnight (8 to 10 hours)
Makes 2 quarts.
I've made my own yogurt at home many times with no special equipment. I usually make 2 qts at a time for efficiency--it keeps for a long time.
Comprehensive instructions are at the link below. I don't use any special equipment to incubate: I just turn on my oven for about 2 minutes then turn it off but leave the light on.
Any flavoring should probably be added at the end, but be sure to reserve some unflavored yogurt to incubate the next batch.
I just strain out any skin that forms.