Monday, March 29, 2010

Yogurt / Breakfast at the Osbornes

I made yogurt this weekend.  As I have mentioned, I like yogurt and eat it regularly.  My prefered brand is Mountain High Yogurt, which comes from Colorado.  I leave the house early and pack a good amount of food and other things with me.  This berry box goes with me every morning.  Often, my yoga clothes are packed in the bottom, then my calendar (that's the red book below the bowl), and mail or other paper.  In this particular case, I'm having yogurt, apple butter and a pear.  The orange will get split with husband at lunch time. 

For the corresponding packing for lunch, see this entry:

Heat 4 cups of milk to 200 degrees and hold that temperature for 10 minutes, stirring.  I used my candy thermometer to keep the right temperature and stirred fairly regularly to avoid sticking.  You shouldn't boil it. 

Make a sink full of icewater when you near the 10 minutes.  At 10 minutes, place the pan in the icewater to cool.  When the temperature decreases to 125 degrees remove it and stir in 1/3 c. powdered milk.  Continue watching the candy thermometer until it cools to 110 degrees.  Dip out 1 cup of the milk mixture and add 1/4 c. of commercial yogurt, stirring to combine.  For the non-cooks out there, that's called Tempering.  When you add volatile ingredients of different temperatures, there can sometimes be unexpected results.  Add the mixture back into the milk.  This is your starter and contains the bacteria which makes the yogurt thick and tart. 

Now you need an incubator.  You need to keep the milk at 110 degrees for about 5 hours while the bacteria develop and make the yogurt.  I researched several methods.   Here is the one I chose.  I laid a towel on the counter and my heating pad on the towel.  Then the pan.  I left the candy thermometer in it so I could monitor the temperature.  I turned the heating pad to medium and wrapped the whole thing in a couple additional towels.   

I pulled up the towels a few times to determine that the thermometer was right where it needed to be.  The first couple hours nothing seemed to be happening.  Towards about the 5th hour, it had thickened and was looking like yogurt or pudding.  I put it in the frig and went to bed. 

I was a little hesitant to eat it in the morning.  It tasted great, but had I just created some bug cocktail of unknown nasties.  But I researched this carefully.  I followed the directions carefully.  I had a very nice breakfast of it and felt great.  I'm researching a somewhat easier incubation method.  I doubt that I will be willing to do the towel and heating pad thing every week.  If I can't simplify things, I may have to buy a plug in yogurt maker.

Remember to try things and experiment.

1 comment:

  1. That's so cool that you made yogurt. It's been on my list for a while. It's now at the top of the list!