Who knew yogurt was this easy to make
I was given a present of a Williams Sonoma yogurt maker over the weekend and, to be perfectly frank, I gazed on it with a certain amount of suspicion when I got it into my kitchen.
But there's nothing quite like the egging on of a 10yo girl to galvanize one's spirits so, together, we attacked it with milk, yogurt and a certain skepticism.
The maker came with no instructions, so a quick scan of CH told us that we needed a yogurt 'starter'.
Winging it completely, we mixed a couple of TBS of Fage yogurt with about a pint of milk. We added a TB of vanilla sugar at the 10yo's insistence, just to see what it would taste like.
Into the glass jars the mixture went, and into the yogurt maker they went. The controls are laughingly basic (ie, the knob doesn't seem to do anything) so we just hit the red switch and let it stand overnight.
The result is fantastic. We have thick creamy yogurt with a delicious hint of vanilla and a slightly less heavy consistency than the Fage. We could probably strain it to get it as thick as Fage, but I don't really see the need.
We've made two more batches since, with equally good results.
Next up, a yummy yogurt from Fairway here in NY that we like, one with a purply tub, which name I've quite forgotten.
Pour l'encouragement des autres..as they used to say down our way.
I agree. I just got a Salton yogurt maker off of Amazon, slapped some 1% milk (heated and cooled) and some greek yogurt into it, left it for 8 hours, into the fridge overnight and poof...yogurt. Very tasty stuff. The texture is a bit grainier than commercially produced yogurt but the flavor is there.
Ok, I certainly didn't know it was that easy. All of the yogurt makers I've looked at talk about heating the milk and adding their specific yogurt starter that you have to buy, so I've dismissed the idea as not worth the trouble. So is that all nonsense? you can just add some pre-made yogurt to milk and stick it in there? What does the actual yogurt maker do anyway? I eat a LOT of yogurt (every morning for breakfast), so this is a fascinating idea to me.
Yogurt is so easy to make, you don't even need a yogurt maker to make it, although a yogurt maker would make it pretty foolproof for incubating.
I make yogurt in the microwave when I'm home all day. Four minutes on high and then 45 seconds every one-and-a-half hours. Make 6 liters at a time (in 6 one liter tubs) and use powdered milk (using more powwder to water than for normal milk), starter, a touch of sugar to get a really thick, sturdy, sharp yogurt. No need for another contraption and I can make a lot at a time.
The yogurt maker, from what I can tell, just holds the mixture at the right temperature for the live cultures to grow. From what I've read, you have to heat the milk to about 180 and then let it cool to between 100 and 110. I've read (but haven't tried yet) that ultra-pasturized milk needn't be heated up first (though it would need to be warmed to between 100 and 110 to give the cultures the right starting temperature).