Making yoghurt at home is a simple process. I have been doing it on and off (mainly off) for about 30 years. Only 3 ingredients: full cream milk, natural yoghurt and powdered milk will make you a fairly decent yoghurt.
Essentially, my recipe was:
- 2 litres of milk
- 1/3 cup of powdered milk (the powdered milk is to make the yoghurt thicker)
- 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt.
My procedure was:
- Mix the powdered milk with the full cream milk.
- Bring the milk to the boil. I recently discovered that the reason the milk is brought to the boil is to break down the protein in the milk which produces a smoother yoghurt. I also discovered that the milk needs to boil for 10 minutes for this to happen (something I never did).
- Let the milk cool until when you put a finger in, you can barely feel the difference between your temperature and the milk – about 40 degrees Celcius.
- Add the natural yoghurt.
- Place the mixture in a yoghurt maker for about 8 hours. If you don’t have a yoghurt maker, you can use a thermos. Just reduce the quantities to suit the size of your thermos. Wrap the thermos in a towel to insulate it.
This was my lot until a few weeks ago when I decided to buy a starter. I didn’t want to buy a tub of expensive yoghurt every time I made a batch.
I surfed the web and ended up at Green Living Australia. Here is the link.
I learned a couple of things from Green Living Australia. Firstly, if you use UHT milk, you do not have to boil it as the heat treatment involved in producing UHT milk has already broken down the proteins. This is a significant time saver.
Secondly, if you add a couple of drops of calcium chloride to the milk, you get an even thicker, creamier yoghurt. I decided to give it a go.
I ordered the Y450B yoghurt culture and some calcium chloride. When the starter arrived, I couldn’t believe how little I received. It is barely a teaspoonful but Green Living Australia asserts that the amount makes between 80 – 100 litres of yoghurt. If that is the case, it is extremely economical as it only cost $11.25. The calcium chloride cost $3.50. It will make even more if you don’t use the starter each time, but sometimes use yoghurt from your previous batch. I have made 3 batches and only used the starter once.
My recipe now is:
- 2 litres of full cream UHT milk
- A scant smidgen (this is a tiny amount) of starter (or 1/3 cup of yoghurt from your previous batch)
- 2/3 cup of powdered milk.
- Add the powdered milk to the UHT milk
- Heat the UHT milk to 40 degrees Celcius
- Add 4 – 5 drops of calcium chloride and the scant smidgen of starter
- Place in a yoghurt maker (or thermos) for 8 or so hours.
This makes, probably, the best yoghurt you will ever taste. It is fantastic. It is lovely and thick and creamy and velvety.
I have also read that you can use a slow cooker instead of a yoghurt maker or a thermos. Turn the slow cooker on, heat the UHT and powdered milk to 40 degrees Celcius then turn it off. Add the starter or natural yoghurt. If you heat it too much, just let it cool down before adding the starter or yoghurt. Wrap the slow cooker in a towel and wait the required time.
You can sweeten it with just about any type of fruit syrup or jam. I have tried mixed berries and passionfruit, both of which are great. Another favourite is honey and walnuts. I am also going to try vanilla syrup and coffee syrup.