"I think it's nice that there are all different kinds of lunches and breakfasts and dinners and snacks. I think eating is nice." – Albert from Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell C. Hoban
Yes, that’s right. Yogurt. Making yogurt. Why make yogurt, you might ask?
First of all, if you’re already making ice cream, why not yogurt? Also, if you’re a frozen-yogurt type, much more fun to base it on yogurt you’ve made yourself. Or eat it with your home-made granola.
Lastly, home-made yogurt is a food product accessible for people with dietary issues. This recipe is taken from Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gotschall B.A., M.Sc. It’s a book about diet for people with Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease and a few others and has many tasty and useful recipes.
Though the recipe won’t make yogurt as thick as commercial yogurt, don’t add any extra thickeners, the recipe doesn’t recommend them. If you use low fat milk, watch it carefully when heating – it scorches easily. We make it with goat’s milk, it comes out very nicely.
Make sure to use unflavored, unsweetened commercial yogurt. If possible, buy one that only contains milk or milk solids and bacterial culture. If you can’t find one with only those ingredients, you should buy yogurt culture (“starter”) separately. Don’t use your own home -made yogurt as a starter.
It’s important to have a steady source of heat during the 24 hour fermentation period, so the temperature remains at 100° – 110° F (38°-43° C). Too high or too low a temperature will result in improper conversion of the lactose. We used our oven pilot (it has just the right temperature), but you should experiment to see what works best.
1 quart (1 liter) milk – you can use powdered (only add as much powder you’d use to make liquid milk), skimmed, 2% or whole milk
1/4 cup good quality, unflavored, unsweetened commercial yogurt
Bring the milk to a simmer, stirring often to prevent scorching and sticking to the bottom of the pan, and remove from the heat (don’t let the milk boil!).
Cover and cool until it has reached room temperature or below (may be placed in refrigerator to hasten cooling). It is very important that you allow the temperature to drop sufficiently or you will kill the bacterial culture you are now ready to introduce.
Remove about 1/2 cup cooled milk and make a paste with the yogurt, then mix the paste back into the remainder of the cooled milk and stir thoroughly.
Pour the milk mixture into any appropriate sized container (we used a large mason jar), cover and let stand for at least 24 hours, or more, at 100°-110° F (38°-43° C). After the minimum of 24 hours, gently remove from heat and refrigerate.