Allow me to take you further down the rabbit hole of homemade goodies. I’ve recently gotten back into making homemade yoghurt! It’s ridiculously easy to make, actually. I recently noticed that our usual brand of yoghurt had new packaging, containing 10% less yoghurt, with no corresponding reduction in price! But even more concerning was the list of ingredients. Yoghurt has exactly two necessary ingredients: milk and live culture. Every brand of yoghurt I could find in the store included skimmed milk powder and fruit pectin (both unnecessary, in my opinion), as well as the dreaded E-numbers (what the heck are “stabilizers” anyway?). So, we’re adding yoghurt to the list of household staples that I will now make myself… We eat a lot of yoghurt in our house, so I have been making two litres at a go, which usually lasts us a good week.
2 litres of milk
6 tablespoons of live yoghurt as a starter (most any brand of yoghurt you’ll find in the store will have live active ingredients – we used Bio brand, because it’s what we had in our fridge!)
– Heat the milk over low heat in a saucepan to 46*C / 115*F. I use a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature, but you only need to heat the milk until it’s just warm to the touch.
– Pour the warm milk into a large thermos container. I prefer the ones with a wide mouth. I have two huge 1.75 litre ones, that way I can have a veritable yoghurt factory!
– Stir the live yoghurt into the warm milk. Cover the thermos, and store it in your pantry overnight. Check your flask the following day – if it seems thickened and set, pour it into an airtight container and store it in your fridge.
The yoghurt will continue to thicken over time, even in the fridge. But if you love extra-thick yoghurt, you can also strain it through a muslin-lined sieve over a bowl in the fridge for a few hours.
There are so many things you can do with homemade plain yoghurt. We love to eat it plain, or with honey or jam stirred in. Our kids especially love it in homemade yoghurt pops, and we all love to eat it for breakfast with granola. I also love to use plain yoghurt as a substitute for sour cream for fajitas, in soups, and in dips.
(Edited to note that most any brand of yoghurt you’ll find in the store will have live, active cultures in it, so use whatever brand you’ve got! Just be sure it’s plain, natural yoghurt – not the flavored kind!)