That’s right, I’m gonna talk about bacteria. Unlike the ones the world at present is madly trying to kill with hand sanitizer, wipes and washing your hands. But about GOOD bacteria. Think of it as like some distant cousin…. but very much still family. Only using its powers of take-over for good. The warrior ninja who hugs.
Milk meets friendly bacteria, Lactic Acid, whom feeds on the lactose sugar in milk. And the beautiful result- Thick white creamy spoonfuls of wonder. Yogurt.
So I figure, now with more home time for many of you with a world virus going on- what better time to learn how to make your own friendly bacteria- yogurt? You will also be helping your immune system, as yogurt is so good for you! There are MANY benefits, but one is when you have good gut flora it can help you fight off bad bacteria and make your illness go quicker.
Reason number 2….. it’s way cheaper to make it yourself. It only costs me $5.12 for milk that makes 4 yogurt containers 1kg each.
Reason number 3, the kids love it more! I make mine not as sour, but you can adjust its sourness by how long you leave it incubating. Look here’s my kids having it as an outdoor snack with no sweetener- only bananas!
So one of my biggest hurdles of getting behind making yogurt was that I’m a one pot kind of girl. I talk about my efficiency problems in All About Beans …. but basically I’m looking to shorten as many steps as I can, and getting-er done. So here’s how you do that.
These are the things you will need.
- 3.25% 4L Milk (Homogenized)
- 1 cup plain yogurt (first time you will need to buy some, I used Astro Balkan style)
- Large pot with thick bottom to it
- Cookie Tray
- Food Thermometer (I use my meat one)
- Take out your 1 cup of yogurt so it’s at room temp for when you use it later.
- Pour all your milk into the big pot on the stove at medium heat. Stir with spatula every now and then till the temperature of the milk reaches 180*F (do not skip this step).
- Then with the lid off, transfer pot to a sink with cold water in it. Stir the water around the pot to cool the milk. Stir the milk in the pot till it reaches 110*F- then quickly take it out. The temp drops way faster than heating it up- so pay attention!
- Flick your oven on for a couple mins just so it’s not cold.
- Ladle some of the milk out of the pot into your 1 cup of yogurt and mix them together. Then pour the mixture back into your pot of milk adding them together.
- Don’t stir the milk in circles. You want to mix them together with back and forth movements with your spatula. But don’t take too long, you don’t want your temp to drop below 105*F.
- Put the lid on. Wrap with a towel and place on a cookie tray.
- Slide tray in warmed oven. You can turn your oven light on if you wish. I’ve done both and found no difference.
- Put a note over your oven ON or BAKE button that there is yogurt in there! And wait 8 hrs. (More if you want it sourer)
- Take it out after 8hrs and see if it’s thick! There might be a tiny bit of whey. Don’t mix it, throw it in the fridge to cool. Then take it out cooled, ladle it into jars and enjoy!
It should be creamy and thick. If it’s not however, you could strain it in a colander with a cotton sheet square (my version of cheese cloth) in the bottom. Who knows, you might nail it the next batch😉
If you want to up the probiotics in your yogurt, you can empty a probiotic capsule and mix it in with your yogurt starter in step 4. I found this made my yogurt even thicker!
The reason the tray and the note are a good idea: No matter how much you think you will not forget that yogurt setting in the oven, one day you just might. It happened to me 😬 My hubby offered to grab my daughter from her gymnastics class and I ended up with an extra half hour before dinner. What could go better with my stove top soup but hot fresh scones? I cranked the oven to 425*F. It’s only by the grace of God and his kindness to my scattered Mom brain that I didn’t cause an oven fire. I think the oven was on for 10mins before I remembered. The tray worked as a barrier and kept the towel from flaming. The towel has a dark pot size circle to it now. Anyways, I never left myself a note because my day was going to have been too busy for baking. Just goes to show your day can change- leave a note!
Yogurt is one of those things that’s simple, but ohh so good. I find in the last few weeks of crazy (with the Corona virus) God has been reminding me to look not at the seemingly gigantic problems, but at the simple good things all around me. That when I feel my boat is being rocked, to stop looking at the waves and the storm… but realized who’s in the boat with me- Jesus. It’s so easy for me to let my eyes drift back to those waves, but I can find peace if I only keep my eyes on Him. His love never changes, He is my steadfast.
So don’t get so wrapped up in killing bad bacteria, you forget about the good 😉 And go on and try making your own.