I have eaten in a healthy way since I understand myself by people (around 15 years old, when I started cooking), and in recent years, I am eager to eat even better … In the sense of quality, the origin of the ingredients , whether the product is “in season” or not, whether its nutritional value is the best it can be, and so on. That’s when I started taking the chemicals off my menu… (you know when you read a package and think “wtf ???”): it seems like a radical and impossible option to keep, but detoxifying the body of these products made me unable to go back to consuming them without making faces! It was in this long detox journey that I decided, among other things, to recover this tradition so simple to do my own yogurt…
Think of a 100% milk yogurt (enjoy and choose an exceptional milk!), Without chemical additives, without excess or without any sugar, without artificial flavors and colors, without thickeners, without preservatives … The pure nectar of the cow in your bowl, with much more flavor, texture, consistency. Difficult, complicated, complex, time consuming, just for beginners? Bullshit. The process is very simple and can be done with equipment that everyone has at home … And the result is a full-bodied and tasty yogurt, which can be used pure, in sweet or savory recipes and, even without the infamous preservatives, it lasts until 15 days in your fridge (but I doubt it stays there all the time). At the end of the process, you can add flavors and / or sweeteners (but I confess that the pure, with just a little bit of honey, is my great love). Each time you make the recipe, set aside a little to make the next batch (2-4 tablespoons are enough for 1 liter of milk). Most of the work “is done alone”, and really, following these few steps, you can’t go wrong!
The yogurt rests all night and is ready for consumption the next morning, for those who prefer a more liquid consistency (ideal for whipping with fruit and honey, for salad dressing or for making bread, cake, …). Who, like me, is a fan of a creamier yogurt, just follow a last simple step, that of separating the serum from the yogurt before freezing. It is technique it is great for skimmed foods that are super firm and free of the worst amount of gelatin or worst thickeners that manufacturers use. Even the serum left over from this drainage is a holy food for you, reused in several recipes, to replace buttermilk, milk or water, or to increase the nutritional value of soups, broths, juices, and for your plants: water the little garden of herbs with a 1 to 6 solution of serum and water and they will love you.
But enough of mystery …
You will need:
- Thermometer (sine qua non);
- Refractory glass with lid;
- Large sieve;
- Airtight glass containers (or jars), sterilized.
- 2-4 tablespoons of plain yogurt (containing milk yeast);
- 1 liter of milk;
- Separate 2-4 tablespoons of milk to dilute the yogurt. Place the yogurt that will be used as a starter to drain (in a cloth, on top of a glass);
- Heat the milk over low heat and turn off the heat just before boiling (88 ° C);
- Transfer the milk to a glass refractory and wait to cool until it reaches 45˚C;
- Mix the yogurt with the milk you separated back there, add the mixture to the refractory milk and stir it very well (this step is very important for the yogurt to coagulate evenly);
- Cover the refractory (or transfer the mixture to individual jars, preferably also glass and with a lid), place your pot / jars in a thermal bag (if you don’t have one, do as the old ones: wrap your refractory in a blanket or tablecloth) and put it in the oven for 6-12 hours (the longer it is, the more full-bodied the yogurt will be, but also the tastier … the ideal, for my taste, is 9 hours … Try it!). After this step, the yogurt is ready for consumption and can be taken directly to the refrigerator;
- To Greek type yogurt: line the sieve with a clean cloth, rinse it under running water, place the sieve on top of a bowl of the same size and pour the yogurt. Let it drain for a few hours, until it reaches the desired consistency. (If it is very hot, it is better to take it to the refrigerator while it drips).
- Transfer your yogurt to an airtight jar and whisk with the fouet for homogenization. Refrigerate and enjoy! PS: friend advice? Rinse your cloth IMMEDIATELY.
- If you are going to reuse the serum, transfer it also to a sterile airtight container and store it in the refrigerator (for 3-4 days), or freeze it for later use.
Some final tips. Yogurt can be made with any type of milk: whole, skim, skimmed, goat, soy, etc., as long as it is fresh milk. The fresher the better, always! The UHT type, therefore, is not indicated (but it does have coagulation capacity, so if it is the only one available in your city, it is worth the experience). Each brand has some differences in the taste of milk, and this influences the final result. It is good to test several brands until you find a favorite flavor and do not be discouraged if the first one doesn’t look so good…
Finally, I do not recommend mixing an animal’s starter with another’s milk, that is, if you are going to make goat yogurt, for example, do not use cow starter. If you don’t find a suitable yogurt to use as a starter, make your first shipment using milk yeast: follow the same steps, but instead of plain yogurt, use a yeast sachet, and remember to reserve some of the yogurt to make the next one !