This is the promised post about yogurt making tips with a lovely pot of yogurt with grilled peaches and figs of course an Ottolenghi recipe where the yogurt is flavored with orange blossom water, drizzled with honey and topped with thyme.
Moving on to the tips;
1. Make it from the creamiest milk you can get, I use raw milk if I can go to the farmer’s market. If not then Graham gold smooth would do.
2. To avoid milk catching the bottom of the pan rinse your pan with water and put the milk in it while it’s still wet, you will thank me for this tip when doing the dishes.
3. Bring milk to boil and simmer 15 minutes to make it even thicker.
4. After 15 minutes of simmering transfer the milk to a pot with lid and leave it to cool in the pot without the lid.
5. Use a thermometer I have a jam thermometer that I stick to the pot while the milk is cooling.
6. Check regularly until the temperature drops to somewhere between 45-50°C on the thermometer.
7. If the temperature drops more don’t give up, boil a little bit more milk like a cup and add it to the pot.
8. Take your starter yogurt out of the fridge and put 2 tablespoons in a bowl.
9. You can use your own yogurt or Fage 5% or Rachel's organic greek yogurt as a starter.
Later two works well, your own yogurt may work better if it’s fresh and thick.
10. When the milk is in the mid of 45-50° C zone get 2-3 tablespoons of it into the yogurt bowl and mix it with the yogurt.
11. Put this yogurt milk mixture into the milk and mix with a spoon only slightly. I do maybe up to 10 swirls.
12. Close the lid of the bowl and wrap it in a blanket or and old jumper, something that will keep it warm.
13. Leave it in a warm spot. I leave it on the floor under our heater on these cold days.
14. Timings; I make the yogurt usually after dinner and leave it out all night and day until I come back from work at 6 pm. Then put it in the fridge without touching the yogurt. I know it’s tempting but it needs time in the fridge to set so leave it alone. It sets overnight in the fridge and will be ready for breakfast next day.
Bonus tips -
I make yogurt once a year from raw milk without boiling it only heating up to 45-50° and use this or the yogurts made from this as my starter for the rest of the year. I learned it from Tim Spector wonderful book The Diet Myth. It’s full of healthy bacteria when made like this. Apparently the bacteria in supermarket yogurts are very muted and this is a way to make your yogurt lively. This yogurt made from raw unpasteurized milk may not be good, it was slimy and almost inedible in my case but the next generation yogurt (from pasteurized and boiled milk) made using this as a starter will be better and it will get better each time.
If the milk still catches the bottom of your pan, boil water with a splash of vinegar in the pan. Take it into the sink and add a teaspoon of bicarbonate, it will bubble up that’s why it is in the sink. Leave it for 10 minutes and the pan can be cleaned much easier after this.