Yoghurt is a fussy little beast. Too cold and it doesn’t process well. Too hot or too long and the cultures you’re trying to encourage die off and you miss their essential role in your recovery. Review this post regarding temperature control before you begin. Consider this page on the BTVC website required reading.
I find this to be the most versatile version of yoghurt. It produces a thicker yoghurt than whole milk or reduced fat milk. It can easily be used in place of sour cream. It’s great for making smoothies and using in baking and cooking.
Cooking yoghurt, as in chicken khorma, will kill the bacteria so don’t consider cooked yoghurt as a probiotic.
- 2 quarts of half and half * ( be sure to check label for illegals like carrageenan )
- 1/2 cup Dannon All Natural Plain Yoghurt. It contains only milk and yoghurt cultures. Carefully read the label as the lower fat yoghurts have illegals. -OR- One packet of Yogourmet freeze dried starter.
- 1 teaspoon legal vanilla extract (optional)
* Half and half is a mixture of 50% whole milk and 50% cream with a fat content in the 10-18% range.
A pan large enough to hold the yoghurt.
A digital temperature probe.
A yoghurt maker.
I use the Yogourmet Multi Yogurt Making System along with a dimming switch. It works great and can make up to a half gallon of yoghurt at a time. They are not difficult to find on the web. This recipe should work with any yoghurt maker, however.
- Put half and half and vanilla extract into pan over medium heat and affix temperature probe.
- Stir occasionally at first then more frequently as the temperature approaches 180° F.
- Hold at 180°F for three minutes, stirring regularly to avoid skinning and scorching.
- Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, roughly 75° F. (see note below)
- Thoroughly whisk Dannon yoghurt (or Yogourmet starter) with 1 cup of the cooled half and half.
- Thoroughly whisk the mixture with the rest of the half and half.
- Put mixture into yoghurt maker and plug it in. Use a dimmer switch if necessary.
- Let it process for 24 – 29 hours. No longer though, as longer processing will begin to degrade the bacteria and you will lose the probiotic properties you are aiming for. If you don’t start your processing timer until your yoghurt hits the 100-110 degree range, you’ll be safer sticking closer to the 24 hour mark.
- Move yoghurt to refrigerator and allow to cool completely, usually overnight or use the cooling note below to speed it up.
To cool your yoghurt quickly, you can use the following method.
- Making sure your sink is clean, place your hot yoghurt pot into the sink.
- Add cold water to the sink until it completely surrounds your pot and nearly makes it float. You can also add ice or cold packs if you like.
- Let it sit for a while, stirring occasionally so it does not skin over.
- Check the temperature and if it is still too high, drain the sink and add new water.
- Let it sit for a while, stirring occasionally.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 as many times as you feel necessary to reach room temperature.
Thick yoghurt note:
Read the post about keeping your yoghurt thick.