By Kylie Archer
There are two reasons why I make my own homemade yoghurt:
1. I’m cheap: it only costs me about $1.40 per litre for normal yoghurt and $1.80 per litre for greek yoghurt to make it myself (this cost is factoring in the cost of the yoghurt maker).
2. I know that what I make myself contains no nasties. Nothing bad, no sugars other than those in the milk and I like that I control what goes in it.
There are many yoghurt makers on the market, I have a one litre one that cost around $40, but they have been available at those big superstores for $20 for a two litre one. You can also use a thermos style yoghurt maker.
Remember this one very important thing when making your own Home Made Yoghurt :
One key and very important element of yoghurt making is making sure everything is super clean. You are working with bacteria and you want to make sure you end up with the right bacteria! I can wash my yoghurt equipment on a very hot (hygiene) cycle in the dishwasher. If you can’t do that, super hot handwash with gloves, then you can use a sterilising liquid like Milton.
A note on milk:
I use UHT milk. You could also use “normal” milk, but you need to heat it to 100 degrees then cool before using. There is nothing wrong with UHT milk, it is just heat treated for longevity.
1 litre UHT milk
3-4 heaped tablespoons of full cream milk powder (this determines how thick your finished yoghurt will be, so try three the first time, then go from there)!
1/10th of a teaspoon of probiotic yoghurt culture (either buy a yoghurt culture from a brew shop or use 2 tablespoons of the best additive free probiotic filled yoghurt you can find. If you choose this method reserve two tablespoons of your own yoghurt each time you make it.)
- Pop the milk into the yoghurt maker/thermos style yoghurt maker and add the milk powder and culture/ yoghurt. Stir to blend in all the lumps.
- Set a timer for 10 hours. If you’re doing it in a thermos you have to keep the temp of the milk at approx. 40 degrees, by adding boiling water to the outer container I also find that putting it all in an esky helps, especially in cooler weather.
- After ten hours, tip the yoghurt into the container you want to keep it in and refrigerate. Then after about 4 hours it will be set in the container. It keeps for 7 days in the fridge.
- Try to make sure you pull it out after the 10 hours, I put it on at 9pm so it’s good for the fridge at 7am. If you leave it longer it tends to go bitter.
Note: Add whatever flavourings as you eat- fresh fruit- pureed or whole, jam, vanilla paste, honey, whatever tickles your fancy! I find leaving the flavourings in the yoghurt makes it go off quickly.
Greek Yoghurt: Method
Effectively Greek is strained normal yoghurt. To make your yoghurt Greek, strain it over a muslin lined colander for 1-2 hours in the fridge depending on how thick you want it.
If you want to make labne from your yoghurt, it’s simple.
Add 1 ½ teaspoons of sea salt (flakes or grinds) to the yoghurt and stir.
First place some muslin cloth in a colander and allow the whey to separate from the curds for about 20-30 mins. Then gather up the edges of the muslin and using some kitchen twine, tie it into a ball. Leave it to drain (I use a plastic cereal container- those tall ones with the spout on the lid- I shut the string in the lid) for 72 hours in the fridge. You can then roll it into balls and put in oil with your choices of herbs and spices. Make sure it marinates for a minimum of 24 hours before eating. If you sterilise the jar you can keep it for up to a week in the fridge, but mine only ever lasts 24 hours. The whey from making labne is quite bitter, but can be used as a substitute for yoghurt in some cakes and breads if you are ok with it being lighter. You can also freeze the whey for use at another stage. Unlike whey from cheese making this whey cannot be used for ricotta.