After the success of culturing our own kefir, I want to try yogurt next because I don’t really like the yogurt sold at the supermarkets here.
Firstly, the yogurt is thin, almost a liquid and drunk with a straw? Most of them are fruit-flavoured yogurt but now they’ve come up with yogurt + kei chi and yogurt + red dates, which have become sweeter.
I wanted to make all-natural yogurt the way the Indians make it, the way this Chinese/Indian chef taught me how to 😀
Fortunately, Hubby found ONE brand of natural yogurt (Miaoshi) that is sugar-free, which I could use as a starter but we also found sugar (白砂糖 bái shātáng)listed in the list of ingredients…
Later, we found Paul’s All Natural Yogurt (Made in Australia) in one of the foreign supermarkets.
Yippee, we had a yogurt starter!
You can also go for the popular Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter Value Pack (16 pack), which promises that if you use their freeze-dried yogurt starter, the result is always smooth and creamy.
If you like a tart yogurt, I’d recommend you to get Cultures For Health Bulgarian Yogurt Starter | Re-use Heirloom Yogurt Culture | Non GMO, Gluten Free | 2 Sachets In A Box since the yogurt we make is slightly tart, like Bulgarian yogurt.
STEP 1: Bring a pot of whole milk to the boil.
Set aside to cool until a layer of fat appears on the surface. The milk is at the perfect temperature for yogurt.
STEP 2: Put 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt into the warm milk.
Pour the warm milk into a glass / plastic container with a tight-fitting cap.
I think that pouring the yogurt mix straight into these 6 oz glass mason jars of the Euro Cuisine YM80 Yogurt Maker (US$27.89) is easier since you get 7 jars of freshly-made yogurt for breakfast!
Here’s the bottle I used at the beginning before I collected some glass containers.
STEP 3: Stand the milk in a warm area for 10-12 hours.
During the summer, I could just leave the milk in the kitchen in the morning and I’ll have nicely set yogurt by the late evening.
Unless you like *very* sour yogurt, avoid leaving the yogurt out for too long i.e. more than 12 hours. 10 hours is just nice for us 😀
I will then pop it into the fridge to chill and stop the fermentation process. Note that the yogurt will taste more sour the longer you leave it out to ferment.
During autumn/winter, I had to create a cozy corner for the milk LOL!
I wrapped the bottle of warm milk tightly with an old wool sweater, stuck it into my crock pot and set it by the stove.
One of the ayis was very fascinated by the yogurt making process that she pointed me to the HOTTEST spot on the stove. She would clean the area after cooking and ensured that my precious yogurt was safely stowed away 😀
STEP 4: Store the bottle in the refrigerator
This step stops the fermentation process and set the yogurt.
One to two hours should do the trick and you’ll get thick and creamy 100% natural yogurt:
Once you try home-made natural yogurt, you’ll turn your nose up at the yogurts sold in the supermarkets because your home-made yogurt is soooo creamy and thick, with no thickeners.
Since our kids are used to store-bought yogurt, we slowly weaned them off the fruit-flavored ones towards the “natural” flavored ones topped with fresh fruit and honey.
One fine day, our son decided to try “natural” yogurt on its own (sweetened with sugar / sucrose) and liked it more than the fruit-flavored ones. Because of this, our daughter followed suit 😀
Currently, I have a Thermos CC-4500P Thermal Cookware and Carry, 4.5 Liters
Below are links of other folks who have successfully made their own yogurt:
- Make your own yogurt in China
- List of utensils and basic ingredients
- Make your own yogurt (with photos) – explains that natural, home-made yogurt is actually runny since no thickeners are added. Ahh…then the yogurt on sale in China is quite good as they are all the runny type you drink with a straw.
- Interesting discussion on natural, homemade yogurt on the New York Times.
- How to make goat milk yogurt
- Another how to make your own yogurt (with photos)