Sunday, 27 July 2014


I finally had a go at making my own yogurt from milk and it actually worked the first time!  It's something I've meant to try for a very long time, I just didn't have the nerve. It seems that I must pick up on the negative a lot. For years I read gardening books and decided it was mostly about fighting off bugs and disease, but thankfully (so far) it's more about planting and harvesting. Similarly I read about making yogurt and how often it seemed to fail.  I wasn't sure what to do with the failed yogurt and I didn't want to waste food so I procrastinated. However, when I went to buy some yogurt and the price had doubled from the last time I'd bought it, that pushed me to try. 

I picked up 211 Things a Bright Girl Can Do at a book sale. The first bright thing described is making yogurt in a Thermos flask.  I'd type it out for you, but you can Google 'make yogurt in a Thermos' and get loads of suggestions about types of milk (don't use UHT; I used semi-skimmed), whether to add powdered milk (haven't tried it yet), etc.  I basically heated milk to boiling, let it cool (using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature), added yeast I bought from Amazon, poured it into the clean, pre-heated Thermos and wrapped it in some bath towels. The yeast packet said to check that it was setting at 10 hours, so I did; it said it might need to set up to 36 hours but mine was fine after 24.  I poured it into jars and put them in the fridge for a few hours and we've eaten it all week.  

Eating plain yogurt is sort of new to me. I love the sweetened stuff, but stopped buying it in my last push to pinch pennies. We have chopped fruit for desserts and learned to eat it plain, though Bill prefers to have plain yogurt on his. I also thought we should keep yogurt in our diet, it being so healthy and all. After making my own I tried chopped fruit with a few tablespoons of yogurt on top for my breakfast, as a change from toast with jam or honey. I discovered it was delicious and very filling. I like to mix plain yogurt with lemon juice and some herbs to make salad dressing. So I think homemade yogurt is going to become a habit around here.  

I gather I can save newly homemade yogurt in the freezer to use in place of the bought yeast. That is an experiment for another day. Meanwhile, I found some store bought yogurt in the deep freeze. When we are away for more than a few days I tend to throw a lot of things into the freezer to use later.  As with many things, freezing seems to change the texture of yogurt and of course it separates more than usual. Sometimes a good stir is all that's needed, but I found that straining the thawed yogurt gave me some creamy low fat spread for crackers or bread (much healthier than margarine, pate or hard cheese) and a bit of whey. We were out of bread the next morning so I whipped up some muffins from the 'universal recipe' in the Tightwad Gazette and used the whey as part of the liquid component. 

Have you made your own yogurt?


Carolyn said...

Well done! I've made yogurt a few times, years and years and years ago! you're inspiring me to get back to it :)

Gam Kau said...

A few years ago I went through a homemade yogurt phase, but I think I decided it didn't save much money (if any) from buying value line plain yogurt. I've never tried the thermos method, but I would just heat the milk in the microwave, add a teaspoon of plain yogurt and then cover it and put it in the oven with the oven light on. It is surprising how easy it is to do and it's a worthwhile skill to know. Maybe I'll try it again. We eat a lot of plain yogurt for dessert.

sanda said...

I've made yogurt quite often in the past. I have one of those little electric yogurt makeers with 7 glass jars, made exactly as you describe it in the Thermos. I'm not making it these days; buying Greek yogurt instead because it has twice the amount of protein as regular. Not sure why but think it may be cause its so much thicker, thus more concentrated. I always eat plain/unsweetened, add whatever fruit I have, walnuts and sometimes granola. It's a beautiful breakfast or snack. My recipe for the electric model says you save 2 T of present batch as starter for next batch. I have never frozen it, but may give that a try if I can't use what I have prior to expiration date. Glad you have discovered yogurt making!

D A Wolf said...

That book could have a lot of fun activity to check out! I can't say I've ever tried making yogurt, but I did get used to eating plain homemade yogurt when I lived in France as a teen. Loved it.

Your adventure in yogurt- making me made me smile.