Some people have always wondered how to make yogurt on their own but many are too scared to try it. After all, this is a recipe that deals with bacteria. If you get it wrong, you don't make yogurt, you make rotted milk. The thought is so unappetizing, many people never attempt it. But it doesn't have to be this way. Yogurt is not the easiest food you will ever make, but the results are worth it, and this recipe is easy enough for amateur cooks to follow.
To make yogurt, you will need milk, water and plain, store-bought yogurt. You're probably wondering, "How will store-bought yogurt help me make a homemade version?" The store-bought yogurt serves as the bacteria needed to make the recipe. Without these bacteria, you'll only make hot milk.
How to Make Yogurt
How you make yogurt isn't so much a technique as a science. You will need to heat milk to 200 degrees and maintain that temperature for 10 minutes. Next, you will need to chill the milk so that the temperature reaches 112 degrees rather quickly. You can then stir in the yogurt starter (A.K.A. plain, store-bought yogurt).
Next, pour the mixture into a container for storage. You can now start the incubation process. During this time, it's important to keep your mixture at 100 degrees. While you must keep it at this temperature for 4 hours, you can keep it there longer. How tangy the mixture is will depend on how long it incubates.
Do You Need Special Equipment?
You can buy machines that help with the incubation process, but these are unnecessary. You can use a hot water bath or even a heating pad to keep your milk at the proper temperature. To ensure that the proper temperature is maintained, you can insert a thermometer so that the temperature is easy to check.
Getting the Perfect Consistency
Do you hate going to the store and purchasing yogurt that is runny? When you make yogurt at home, you can control how thick it is. Its consistency depends on how long you heat the milk. If you want to make extra-thick yogurt, you will need to heat the milk for a full 30 minutes. If your yogurt turns out runny, you can always make it thicker. All you need to do is place it in a piece of cheese cloth, and then inside a strainer, to drain away excess moisture. Allow the yogurt to set until the consistency you want is achieved.
Flavoring can be added to the bottom of the container used during the incubation process. Another way to add flavor is to portion out small servings of yogurt and stir in the flavorings before incubating. The second method is preferable if you don't want a large quantity of the same flavor.
Storing and Preparing Yogurt
Homemade yogurt can be stored for up to 10 days in the refrigerator. In order to prevent odors from seeping in, be sure to place plastic wrap over the container. If you don't think you'll use all the yogurt in 10 days, you can include some in recipes, such as yogurt cheese, and even frozen yogurt.
Once you've mastered the science behind this delicious treat, you'll even be able to make more recipes, such as frozen yogurt, and you can change the taste and the texture of the results whenever you like.
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