One of the best things about culinary school is that you discover how easy it is to make foods you once thought was very difficult to make. For my food science class this year, I worked on a project with some classmates on yogurt. Although our project was mostly scientific-based, we decided to make a batch of homemade yogurt just to see what happened.
The results were outstanding, and once you realise how simple and delicious it is to make your own at home, you'll never buy store-bought yogurt again! (Added bonus - it won't have those extra additives that you always find in big brand yogurts!). The best part about making your own yogurt is that you can use any type of milk - lowfat, whole, soy, almond, etc.
The following pictures were taken during our yogurt-making trial, and provides step-by-step directions.
Give it a try! Your bones and teeth will thank you :)
Homemade Yogurt (makes 4 cups)
4 Tbsp plain yogurt (okay, you do need to buy store-bought yogurt, but just for this first run)
4 cups milk (whole, lowfat, soy, almond, etc.)
1. Sterilize your milk by heating and bringing it just to boiling point, and then turn off heat. Let your milk cool until it reaches a lukewarm temperature (about 100°F).
2. Transfer your milk to a holding container (or several small glass containers for individual servings) where your yogurt will eventually set.
3. Whisk your yogurt to remove any lumps and whisk into your milk thoroughly.
4. Place your container in a warm dry environment to encourage bacteria growth, fermentation and coagulation. As you can see, we placed our container over a heat vent and insulated it with a tea cozy. You can also pre-heat your oven to 125°F and turn it off prior to placing your container in the oven.
The optimal incubation temperature is between 95°F and 115°F. Make sure you check the temperature of your mixture every hour or so to make sure the temperature is within that range. If it's close to 95°F, just preheat your oven again to about 115°F and turn it off when it reaches that temperature.
5. After 4-6 hours, your mixture will magically turn into yogurt!!
Depending if you like your yogurt runny or thicker, milder or tarter, you can incubate your yogurt for longer than 4-6 hours (longer incubation will yield a thicker and tarter yogurt). Once you're happy with your yogurt consistency, refrigerate it straight away to prevent further fermentation.
Your yogurt should last about 2-3 weeks in the fridge. And just before you run out, you can use this yogurt to make your next batch!