Home made yoghurt

I’ve followed Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe for DIY yoghurt, though have heroically ignored the skimmed milk powder which was meant to help thicken it, as I don’t have any and am not sure I could have found it at the local corner shop anyway. Less heroically, I used a thermometer instead of testing the temperature of the hot milk with my finger.

If I’d started first thing in the morning, it would have been ready by dinner time, but I began at 3pm on Sunday afternoon, on a mad impulse, having lacked any oomph for anything earlier in the day despite the welcome sunshine.

As ever, there is the issue of finding somewhere warm to leave the stuff to ferment. I put a large tea cosy over the porcelain bowl and left it on a serving mat on the dining table in the conservatory (it was a sunny day so the room was warm). It kept its heat well under the cosy. In the evening, I moved it to the kitchen. On the basis that I don’t have an airing cupboard I’m allowing it longer than suggested in the recipe.

Without thinking, I had automatically poured out a whole pint of milk (568ml) instead of 500ml, so what with not using the skimmed milk powder either, I was expecting it to come out on the wet side. By 6 a.m. it had thickened quite a lot but was still very runny – definitely a pouring, rather than a spooning, consistency. And since I like my yoghurt thick I’ve left it straining through a muslin cloth in the fridge while I’m at work, with some cling-film over the top to stop it drying out too much.

I’ve used the yoghurt culture from the low fat live yoghurt from the local Northiam Dairy. It’s one of my regular yoghurt pots (together with Yeo Valley Organic, whose creaminess I slightly prefer, but I’m not sure it’s ‘live’; and it may be higher fat). If the experiment is successful I might play around with different sources of culture ‘mothers’ in case different cultures create different textures and flavours.

If the strained yoghurt has gone too dry by the time I get home, at least I can try Hugh’s salty balls….

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~ by jobes on May 26, 2008.

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