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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Friday, May 15, 2009

Recipe Geek: Homemade Yogurt

Yes, I like fermenting milk, as you may've figured out from my post on kefir. I made some homemade yogurt this week. I was inspired by an article in Slate in which the author tested making various kitchen staples at home, and then compared the result to the commercial products in terms of taste, ease of preparation, and cost. Yogurt was one of the winners. I was a little bit dubious - my mom had a yogurt maker back in the 80's. She used a mix of skim milk and dried milk powder. The resulting yogurt was very tart and not very good.
Anyway, this recipe was pretty simple. Heat a half gallon of milk to just below boiling. Let it cool to 110 F or so and add 1/4 cup plain yogurt. Stir it to mix, and then cover the bowl and stick it in a warm place overnight. I put it in the oven with the light on. The next morning the yogurt had firmed up. At this point you can either put the yogurt in the fridge or strain it for a thicker, greek-style yogurt. I opted to strain it since I am in low carb mode now. Besides, it tastes better. I put an old pillowcase in a colander and then poured in the yogurt. When I was sick of waiting, i scooped out the yogurt into a tupperware container.
The next day, I had a taste test - my yogurt vs Fage non-fat greek style yogurt, which is one of my favorites. My yogurt won, although it wasn't an entirely fair contest, since I used lowfat milk. In any case, it was good enough and easy enough that I will definitely make it again.
Stay tuned for the next installation of Recipe Geek, when I will test the other clear winner in the Slate test - homemade bagels. It may be a while, depending on how long I stay in low-carb mode. Or, if you can't wait, here's the link. I expect a full report if you do test it, though ;-)

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