Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Yoghurt Needs a Warm Bed

Yes! I am home and back to making my own Greek yoghurt. Last week I bought a couple of containers of Kroger's Greek yoghurt, but that was not a success. It tasted like schoolboard chalk pudding. Don't know how I know how that tastes, but it tasted like chalk would probably taste. Chalky and yuck! I ate it anyway, but I brought some home to use for my bacteria starter. Sounds awful, but I think that was missing in the Lidl and Albert Heijn varieties in The Netherlands. Yoghurt needs to "grow." And it needs a warm place to sleep while it is growing.

Here is what I did yesterday:

Soon after I took my walk with Flip, I turned the triple pot crock pots on low and poured in the whole milk.

With the lids on the pots, I waited about 3 1/2 hours for the milk temperature to come up to about 170-180 degrees F.

Then I turned off the crock pots and removed the pots to a cooling rack. When the milk cooled off to about 110 degrees F, I whisked in 2 big tablespoons of the Kroger Greek yoghurt (warmed up to room temp) into each of the three crock pots.

Then I panicked! My usual warm yoghurt sleeping place was now like ice. This small room is situated next to the indoor pool, but the pool has been inactive for the month we were away. And since it is now late November instead of hot summer, where do I find a warm place in a cool house?

Almost everywhere I turned, the space was too cold to keep my new yoghurt around 100 degrees F for a long time. So I put them back in the crock pot elements, turned each one on warm, and measured the temp for the next few minutes until I was sure that they would stay warm. Then I shut off the switches, unplugged the machine, and covered the entire triple crock pot apparatus in 4 huge towels and many, many layers of wrapping paper from my new soup bowls. Then I crossed my fingers and waited for the bacteria to do their jobs from lunch until 10:00 pm. At bedtime they all three looked "done," so I popped them into the fridge for a cold night. When I finally got around to checking on the yoghurt at 10:30 this morning, they looked and tasted like professionally made yoghurt. I saved a half jam jar of the new yoghurt to use as a starter in 10 days.But I strained out most of the whey from the rest through my paint strainer mesh for three more hours and then bottled the new yoghurt. Now I have enough to feed an army!


Mrs. Micawber said...

This is quite interesting, as my husband has recently added Greek yoghurt to his diet. Sounds like we could save a bundle making our own (if I can just monitor it properly). Thanks! And thanks so much for visiting my blog too. :)

Linda said...

You are right. It takes a bit of monitoring, but I am retired and have time. You might want to check out Jillee's recipe and suggestions on her blog.
I do not use powdered milk, though.
Success, if you give Greek yoghurt a try.