Adventures in Raw Milk: Yoghurt

Yesterday saw my second foray into the world of yoghurt making.  I had intended to post about last week’s batch but, as happens to most of us, life got in the way and that job didn’t get to the top of the list.  So, forgive me if this post is brief but I wanted to get it ‘out there’ before I head out for a day to the Chatwsorth International Horse Trials.

The reasons behind my yoghurt making venture were partly because of the ‘adventures in raw milk’ theme and partly because I go through a fair amount of the stuff with having a bircher for breakfasts most mornings.  In preparation I researched recipes and went for the simplest I could find.

Ingredients:
1 litre raw milk
3 spoonfuls of live natural yoghurt (your ‘starter’)

Place the milk in a saucepan and heat to just before boiling point.  Keep stirring the milk so that it does not form a skin.

Transfer the milk into a 1 litre glass jar (I use a 1 litre Kilner-type jar with the clip-top lid).  To sterilise the jar beforehand I simply 1/3 filled the jar with just-off boiling water and sealed the lid, giving it a swirl around the jar then leaving it to cool.  The heat of the water, together with the vacuum created when the water cools should see off any nasties.

Leave the milk to cool slowly (with the clip-top lid closed but not clipped down, leaving about a half inch gap at the non-hinge side) for about half an hour, or until it is slightly hotter than skin temperature.

Gently stir in the natural yoghurt then seal the jar and place in a warm place overnight or for 12-hours if making in the morning, then place it in the fridge ready to use.

The yoghurt you get will be slightly more liquid than shop bought, even the ‘no added ingredients’ varieties.  I think they must go through some sort of dehydration/drying process to make them thicker.  However, the taste is something else.  It has a much crisper, or ‘glassy’ taste/texture than other natural yoghurts I’ve had which can leave a ‘cloying’ texture in your mouth.

My second batch has turned out much better – I used slightly more ‘starter’ and wrapped the jar in a towel (just in case of any leakage) and placed it in the airing cupboard where I had used the bain-marie (or water-bath) method suggested in one of the recipes I had found.

Tips:

  • Beware the temptation to ‘check’ on your yoghurt during the fermentation process!
  • Use the same size jar as the volume of yoghurt you’re making – otherwise there is too much air in the jar which doesn’t help to keep it warm.  I had to do some re-shuffling of jars & contents to free up my 1litre jar for the second batch.
Getting everything ready to start

Getting everything ready to start

I think this cooled the yoghurt during fermentation rather than keeping it warm, the airing cupboard worked better.

Trying the water bath method, the airing cupboard worked better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use the same size jar for the volume of yoghurt you're making.  1st batch had too much space for air which didn't help to keep it warm.

Use the same size jar for the volume of yoghurt you’re making.

The 2nd batch has turned out much thicker.  It is now chilling in the fridge ready for bircher making.

The 2nd batch has turned out much thicker. It is now chilling in the fridge.

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