Making yoghurt

I’ve always been a big fan of Greek style yoghurt, it’s versatile for salads, cooking and with some fruit or jam it makes a quick and easy dessert. I would buy a 2kg bucket once a month, which worked fine for us. But then you start using more of it, the real yoghurt without funny additives is around $10 a bucket. Once empty, those buckets come in handy, so I kept them. After a couple of months you see how many buckets you have accumulated and you do the maths.

How hard is it to make yoghurt? My mum used to do it, she had 4 kids and her own shop to run.
What do you need? 2 litres of milk, 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and (an optional) 2 tablespoons of milk powder. That would cost you $3 or if you go for organic $5 to fill a 2kg bucket.

There are many ways to make yoghurt, this one works for me:
- Heat the milk to 90-95 degrees on medium heat then add 2 tablespoons of (optional) milk powder
- Put the pot with hot milk in a sink, filled with cold water to cool in down quickly to 40-45degrees
- (I use a yoghurt maker) put two tablespoons of yoghurt, or a hint of culture (this one is very good) in the holding container, then gently pour in the warm milk.
- Set the timer to minimal of 5 hours when using yoghurt as a starter, or a minimum of 8 hours when using a culture. When the yoghurt is firm put in the fridge to cool, if not, give it another hour

Heating up the milk to almost boiling is the tricky bit, you can forgo this step and just warm it to 40 degrees, but the yoghurt will won’t get very thick.
So get savvy. Now, my yoghurt maker can only make 1,5 liter batches. To heat 1,5 litres of milk on medium heat it takes 18 minutes to bring it to 80 degrees. Set a timer, that’s 18 minutes to do something else (do the dishes, make a loaf of bread, feed and water the chooks, hang up the washing..., you get the gist). Give it a stir, stick in the thermometer, find the milk powder, clean and fill the sink with cold water. By this time the milk is nearing the 90 degrees, stir through the milk powder and put the pot in the sink.
While the milk is cooling you have time to dig up the yoghurt maker and spoon in a little yoghurt or a hint of culture.
If you have to get out that afternoon and know you won’t be back within 5 hours, just put the timer a little later, it’s very forgiving. It won’t go off, but will get a little tangier with every extra hour.

I believe good yoghurt is a cure for many things, it heals from the inside out, getting good bacterias in your gut.

Morning sickness? Believe me, yoghurt with banana is your lifeline...

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