Friday, April 27, 2012

Best Yoghurt Ever

We've got a thing about yoghurt in this family. It's delicious, it's healthy, and it's versatile because it can be served sweet or savoury. Plus it's a useful replacement for ice cream in a household that's trying to cut down on sugar but still enjoys desserts.

Farmdoc is our yoghurt chef and he's made several batches so far. They've all been pretty good - except perhaps for the one that ended up being fed to the dog. 

Then he looked up yoghurt making in Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz, who's a bit of a guru in these matters, and everything changed. The book was a gift from Daughter Number Two (Thanks, Meg).

The recipe is pretty simple and you don't need any special equipment. 

We began with some bought yoghurt that was organic and biodynamic because then we could assume it contained live cultures. This is known in yogurt making circles as the starter.

Then we:

1. preheated the jar we planned to use
2. heated one litre of milk gently until bubbles began to form

3. cooled the milk until it was hot but a (clean) finger could be kept in it without undue pain
4. mixed the starter (the bought yoghurt) thoroughly into the milk. Here Katz was particularly useful. Until now we'd thought the more starter the better but he insists on only a tablespoon per litre so the culture has room to move
5. put the lid on the jar and placed the jar in a warm place. 

We put a tea cosy on ours and set it on the rack on top of the wood stove, which we kept alight all day.

And that's it.

After 8 to 12 hours it should have a tangy flavour and some thickness. If it hasn't thickened, add more starter and keep it warm for another 4 to 8 hours.

Store in the fridge and remember to save some for a starter for your next batch.

Are you a yoghurt eater? You can adjust the tanginess by leaving it longer for more of that characteristically yoghurty flavour if you want. 

I LOVE yoghurt, the creamier the better and this one is super creamy. And it's good for me!! What's not to like about that?! Thanks, Farmdoc. Thanks Sandor.