“Yogurt, yoghurt, or yoghourt (/ˈjoʊɡərt/ or /ˈjɒɡət/; from Turkish: yoğurt; other spellings listed below) is a food produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as “yogurt cultures”. Fermentation of lactose by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and characteristic tart flavor. Cow’s milk is commonly available worldwide, and, as such, is the milk most commonly used to make yogurt. Milk from water buffalo, goats, ewes, mares, camels, and yaks is also used to produce yogurt where available locally. Milk used may be homogenized or not (milk distributed in many parts of the world is homogenized); both types may be used, with substantially different results. In North America, yogurt is sold plain, sweetened (with honey, sugar, or sugar substitutes), or sweetened and flavoured with fruit, vanilla, coffee and other flavours. To produce yogurt, milk is first heated, usually to about 85 °C (185 °F), to denature the milk proteins so that they set together rather than form curds. After heating, the milk is allowed to cool to about 45 °C (113 °F). The bacterial culture is mixed in, and a temperature of 45 °C (113 °F) is maintained for four to twelve hours to allow fermentation.” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogurt)
I do not think I should be a perfectionist or holding on this post for such a long period, exactly about one month. While I am happy with the outcome but the outlook is not exactly like what is sold in the market. I was trying to achieve the smoothness and the creaminess of what is sold in the market.. Now I decided not, homemade can never be compared with store bought. They have temperature regulators and all are machine controlled and how can we achieved such consistency? Yes, you may accidentally done once like what is sold in the market or you are willing to invest in lots of time and energy to get a perfect yoghurt that are suitable to your home environment. I believed by then, your family members may be fed up with your experiments. Of course if you are financially sound and in constant demand of yoghurt, you can always invest in a white elephant: Yoghurt making machine.
I was complaining about the curds and the more watery yogurt. Nothing more to complain and I especially like the milky taste of my homemade yoghurt. In addition, it is not as tangy aka sour as the store bought yoghurt. You must give it a try before you understand what I am talking about the deliciousness of not extremely tangy yoghurt..
I have prepared two times. The first time is a bit tangy and too watery despite all the precaution measures that I have taken. However, i used it for cooking and finished it all . While the bacteria need a certain temperature to reproduce to its fullest extent, but such temperature are hard to control. Too high temperature will kill the bacteria and too low the temperature will halt the reproduction. You must find one optimal temperature for them to reproduce which I found is around 45 degree Celsius. Well, where in your house have a temperature that is 45 degree Celsius. I put in a “warm” place on the balcony, it don’t really worked. I followed Western style and wrapped it in a blanket, it seems to work but very slow.. At the end, i resorted to the use of the oven and that is the fastest i can get.
I am sorry to tell you that you may need a candy thermometer to prepare home yoghurt. Chances of failure using eye observation are rather high. You need to boil the milk to just below the boiling point so as to provide a conducive environment for the reproduction of the the bacteria. The first attempt i used was 80 degree Celsius and it turns out rather watery. On the second attempt, I increased the boiling to almost 90 degree Celsius, the yoghurt is firmer and I am happy with the outcome.
Trust me preparation is so easy, economical and if you are not successful in the preparation, don’t throw away the yoghurt. I blended with fruits into yoghurt fruit juices and also used it in cooking nasi biryani, tandoori chicken that requires yoghurt as a flavouring agent. These type of recipe do not required thick and creamy yoghurt. Yoghurt provides flavouring and hence failed yoghurt is extremely suitable.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 1.5 litres of yoghurt
- 1 litre of fresh milk or package milk
- About 200 grams of original plain yoghurt from the stores (any brand of yoghurt will do)
- 1 candy thermometer
- 200 ml of double cream (optional for more creaminess)
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Put the milk in a pot, heat the milk over the stoves until 85-90 degree Celsius. If you do not have a candy thermometer, you will see some steams coming out and the milk starts to have some wavy pattern but not yet boiling. Off the heat immediately.
- Put the pot in a basin of cold or tap water. The milk will gradually cooled down and wait until it cooled to 35 degree Celsius. If you do not have a candy thermometer, it is the time when the milk is warmed to touch. You can also let it cool under a fan if you prefer.
- Put some milk into the yoghurt, use a hand whisk to whisk until the store bought yoghurt dissolves in the cooked milk. Pour the remaining warm milk into the yoghurt mixture.
- Put these yoghurt mixture in the oven with 40-45 degree Celsius until the yoghurt set which took about 5-6 hours. If you want to save electricity, you can put the yoghurt mixture into the oven after a bake. Use the remaining heat (off the electricity) in the oven to assist in the incubation of bacteria. Alternatively, you can wrap the yoghurt with a blanket and put it in a box to minimize heat loss.
- If after 5-6 hours, the yoghurt is still runny, put into the oven until the desired consistency you want. However, the longer you let the yoghurt bacteria incubate, the more tangy it will be.
- When you open the bottle, you are likely to see some water and some solid mass. Use a tissue paper to sip out the water or use a spoon to scope out the water. The less water it is, the more firm will be the yoghurt. The yoghurt is ready to be chilled and served. Once inside the fridge, the bacteria stop reproducing and the yoghurt will be slightly firmer.
- For the next batch of yoghurt, leave some yoghurt from this batch and repeat the procedures above. As long as the yoghurt bacteria did not die, it will continue to reproduce at favourable environment.
You read this recipe and you decide if you want to proceed or not. In fact you can add sugar and also prepare flavours with slight modifications to the base recipe. Personally I think it is fun to prepare yoghurt with your kids and let them understand the mechanism of bacteria reproduction in a home setting. Of course you will need to read up more so as to teach your kids. My girl is so impressed that she can prepare yoghurt at home and she especially liked the second batch of yoghurt prepared using the recipe above as it is milky and not very tangy.
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