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Yogurt-making @ home


Fat Guy
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So, this time I tried adding between 1/2 and 3/4 of a cup of powdered milk to a batch of yogurt made with 6 cups of 2% milk.

It did not produce a yogurt thicker than what I normally make with milk and starter-yogurt.

While this thread is not very active these days, if anyone out there advocates the addition of powdered milk to fresh milk, I'd be interested in hearing more.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Powdered milk seems like it used to be recommended as an addition to homemade yogurt in old-fashioned "health food" literature of years ago. Persistent bad if not haunting nightmarish memories of powdered milk's chalkiness would preclude my using it in my own cooking. (Ya, and if good cooking is what I'm after why was I reading those self-styled so-called soi disant "health food" abominations in the first place, eh?)

A Bulgarian friend taught me to make yogurt according to how his grandmother in the Old County made it, solving forever (for me) the Yogurt Question. A good question to have solved in life.

Only whole milk, simmered to reduce its volume by about a quarter or even a third, allowed to cool until a finger can comfortably stick in it for several long seconds, couple tablespoons (for a half gallon; quarter cup for a gallon, for major yogurt heads) excellent purchased yogurt as a starter, and then swaddle the bowl lovingly and forget about it overnight or for 24 hours. Done.

My Bulgarian friend only ever used a special Bulgarian blanket to swaddle; I don't have anything similarly talismanic for the task. Perhaps a resolution for 2007. I read Chuck Williams somewhere saying that his yogurt-making teacher, who was Armenian, specified that a cross must be inscribed in the top of the inoculated mixture before setting aside. I don't do that, either, although again, perhaps I ought.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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So, this time I tried adding between 1/2 and 3/4 of a cup of powdered milk to a batch of yogurt made with 6 cups of 2% milk.

It did not produce a yogurt thicker than what I normally make with milk and starter-yogurt.

While this thread is not very active these days, if anyone out there advocates the addition of powdered milk to fresh milk, I'd be interested in hearing more.

Did you do a side by side comparison? Did you notice any difference? Describe the texture you were expecting and what process you use to make your yogurt.

My soup looked like an above ground pool in a bad neighborhood.

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One of my culinary resolutions is not to waste space here with unnecessary quotes, so:

Pounce: You'll find a description of my method in Post #174 above, most likely on this "page". The only deviations from Elie's recipe are 1) the use of a digital thermometer, 2) relying on my oven for incubation since it maintains the perfect temperature, and 3) finding my town and building far too warm to wear luxuriously thick double-brushed flannel pajamas, instead of a sweater, I use a pair to wrap my glass jars before putting them in the oven; the leg of one half of the pair is particularly convenient.

This method results in sufficiently thick, creamy yogurt as long as one isn't expecting the texture to correspond to commercial brands laced with pectin. When I want to use yogurt in the place of sour cream for topping soups or desserts, I need to drain it the same way that you do for making yogurt cheese.

Since so much whey seeps out during the process of draining, I figured I might get a thicker yogurt that didn't require as much draining by mixing in powdered milk. I did not.

* * *

Priscilla: It is a real pleasure to read your writing here, I must say. I remember browsing through some of those health-food books while baby-sitting in the college towns where I grew up. They were a favorite of graduate students and young couples who chose to teach in the inner city to effect social change. Blaugh. Ironically, that genre engendered the second vegetarian cookbook by Anna Thomas which I found crucial in changing the way I cooked and ate--for the better. No recipes with powdered milk, there.

I believe an increased use of powdered milk is linked to one facet of those kinds of books: Bread-baking as a form of Simplifying and Improving Life. Of course, bread-baking is also fundamental to some devout groups that stress the importance of home and family. Thus, I could walk across the street to a strange hybrid of Food Co-op and religious store where bulk items were bagged and sold at incredibly low prices. Powdered milk was sold next to all the baking goods, far from the yogurt and milk in the dairy case. In the Pastry & Baking forum, I believe there are a few brief discussions of the benefits of using powdered vs. liquid milk when baking.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Pontormo, thanks, and yes, you have reminded me of the non-instant powdered milk for baking, not a notfat product I don't believe, I used to keep in stock when I was a fanatical bread maker largely for the very reasons, which are good reasons, you outline.

But the contemplative reducing of whole milk showed me the way to yogurt.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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One of my culinary resolutions is not to waste space here with unnecessary quotes, so:

Pounce: You'll find a description of my method in Post #174 above, ...

You don't mention if you bring the milk to a high temp with the powdered milk and then cool to 109. In my experience bringing the milk to 180 makes a difference in how firm the yogurt will set. I have tried 2% out of the jug mixed with powdered milk and warmed to only 109 and the texture was not "set".

I have not tried to get sour cream (or greek style) thickness with just adding powdered milk. I suspect it would take quite a bit more powder than a cup to even get close. I do think you will get a "thicker" result by adding powder and draining over just draining. Fat content is probably going to add a lot to the texture as well. Drained whole milk yogurt is going to be "thicker" than drained 2% yogurt....

I admit I buy Trader Joes Greek Style yogurt now when I want this thickness. Yum yum yum. They even have a non-fat version!

My soup looked like an above ground pool in a bad neighborhood.

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Thought I said I used a digital thermometer, Pounce, maybe not. I've read the thread thoroughly, so temperature wasn't the problem.

* * *

Change this time: I used whole milk and since I had the powdered milk, I added 3/4 of a cup to a little over 6 cups of milk. My starter was my own last batch of yogurt (2 %), but thickened by draining.

:blink::laugh::smile:

My oh my!

Wonderful. Sour. Rich. Left in oven (up to 129 F is okay; mine ranges between 110-120) for more than 12 hours. Beaten, then mixed with fresh cranberry sauce, it's about as good as can be. I'll use less powdered milk next time and also try it without.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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  • 1 month later...

I recently started a very interesting yogurt culture. I bought various yogurts that included active cultures including caspian, bulgaria, and some others and mixed them together with milk and a dash of powdered milk. I bought a 1.4 liter unglazed terracotta flower pot and filled the hole in the bottom with silicon. Then I mixed some 4.4 percent butter fat milk and the active cultures and put it into the flower pot and covered it with a cloth. I put the flower pot in my rice cooker sitting on a steamer basket on the warming function over night and the results were stunning. Really creamy, just tangy enough, and great milk flavor comes through. The terracotta allows some moisture to evaporate and the heat to evenly penetrate. I have been eating it and leaving about 1/4cup in the bottom, adding more milk, and incubating over night. I'm hooked, I highly recommend it.

gallery_23727_2765_3776.jpggallery_23727_2765_16615.jpg

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I've followed this thread off and on since it got started, and thanks to everyone I've had some great sucess tweaking the recipe -- (1/2 gal nf milk + 2 big tbs milk powder + 2 tbs Strauss organic yogurt - incubate 7 hours in jars)

After rereading the thread top to bottom, something has just occured to me -- has anyone tried adding evaporated milk to their recipe?

I can't help but wonder if the milk proteins are the key to making nice thick yogurt how the concentration of them in the evap would work.

Pulling out the yogurt maker today and will report in tomorrow :)

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  • 1 month later...

I'm new to making yogurt, and am wondering whether using half and half instead of milk is a good or dumb idea. Half and half at Costco is cheaper than whole milk at my local chain market. I am interested in a rich regular yogurt, and also yogurt "cheese". I'd like to hear from experienced yogurt-heads....

Monterey Bay area

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I'm new to making yogurt, and am wondering whether using half and half instead of milk is a good or dumb idea. Half and half at Costco is cheaper than whole milk at my local chain market. I am interested in a rich regular yogurt, and also yogurt "cheese". I'd like to hear from experienced yogurt-heads....

if half-and-half is cheaper at costco...then wouldn't whole milk be cheaper there than your local market? i don't know that i would use half-and-half to make yogurt. the flavor profile is different, isn't it? and yogurt 'cheese' is just drained yogurt. you can get fairly thick yogurt 'cheese' even from skim yogurt.

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I'm new to making yogurt, and am wondering whether using half and half instead of milk is a good or dumb idea. Half and half at Costco is cheaper than whole milk at my local chain market. I am interested in a rich regular yogurt, and also yogurt "cheese". I'd like to hear from experienced yogurt-heads....

I make fat free yogurt all the time. I never tasted half-n-half yogurt, but have eaten vitamin-D milk (full fat). Regular milk yogurt tastes way too rich and therefore I'd never try any richer. But maybe that's because I'm not accustomed to it. However believe it or not, my fat free tastes extremely rich when I use NDM powder. I imagine 2% would be great. They all make good cheese. Just my opinion! Good luck, John S.

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Half and half will work fine, but it will be very creamy tasting. All that is really happening in yogurt making is that the bacteria is devouring the available sugars (lactose) and forming a fine spidery network of the available milk proteins. Half and half has more fat in it so the consistency will be different, as a matter of fact you may not know that your yogurt has 'completed' as it will not be a solid mass as would occur with milk only or low fat milk. You may wish to add several teaspoons of dry milk powder to help.

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I've just bought Trader Joe's Greek Style Plain Yogurt to use as a starter, thinking I would portion out and freeze the remainder to use later as starters. I'm now wondering if freezing will impair the active culture - the instructions that came w/ my new SaltonYM9 (1 qt.) says that "Yogurt can be frozen, but... the culture will not survive the heating and freezing process. However, it will retain its nutritional value." Does anyone freeze their starter?

Monterey Bay area

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When making yogurt, I often use a portion I froze from a previous batch as a starter. The yogurt almost always turns out fine, and I've not noticed any effect on the final product as a result of the freezing.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...
I recently discovered a new brand of yogurt that is really delicious, as bought or as a starter: Liberte. It's from Quebec, says it's made from Vermont milk, I buy it in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Ah, NAFTA.

Ahhh This is probably the best non-artisanal yogurt in Canada! They also make a great sour cream.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is funny to many.

When growing up in the 'Old' country, and heat in our house during the winter months, was only in the kitchen from cooking. (Hitler used all coal for weapon making), Meine Omi (my Grandmother) made Yoghurt from raw milk only (when available - I think Hitler used that too for weapon making).

After heating the milk to just before boiling point, adding the culture from a left-over on the window sill, and then....

......wrapping it into a kitchen towel and placing it under the feather bed covers into the bed we just got out of.

Six or so hours later we had the stuff ready to eat. And it did not last long.

Peter
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This is funny to many.

When growing up in the 'Old' country, and heat in our house during the winter months, was only in the kitchen from cooking. (Hitler used all coal for weapon making), Meine Omi (my Grandmother) made Yoghurt from raw milk only (when available - I think Hitler used that too for weapon making).

After heating the milk to just before boiling point, adding the culture from a left-over on the window sill, and then....

......wrapping it into a kitchen towel and placing it under the feather bed covers into the bed we just got out of.

Six or so hours later we had the stuff ready to eat. And it did not last long.

It is both funny and touching, Peter. It shows that really it takes the basics of determination and imagination to make something wonderful to eat from whatever happens to be around or whatever can be found.

The feather bed covers. Just like a soft hen warming her eggs. :smile: And hiding them, too - from the Big Bad Wolf who was at the door and everywhere. (Actually since you were the Good Wolfs we will have to call him the Bad Coyote I guess.)

I like to see my little container of yogurt on top of the cable TV thingie with its woolen cap - it makes me perversely happy. But now memories of *your* story will make me even more so.

Thank you for sharing it.

Edited by Carrot Top (log)
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  • 1 month later...

Hey all...

I just had my first attempt at making yogurt, using my new Euro Cuisine YM100 yogurt maker... The jars are currently chilling in the refrigerator, but I have a question. I noticed a semi-substantial layer of whey sitting on the top. Would people recommend stirring this in, or straining it out? Any thoughts??

Thanks!

ETA: Since it was my first time making yogurt, I think I can attribute the whey to an overly long incubation time. Is the stuff still edible??

Edited by DanaG (log)
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I noticed a semi-substantial layer of whey sitting on the top.  Would people recommend stirring this in, or straining it out?  Any thoughts??

ETA: Since it was my first time making yogurt, I think I can attribute the whey to an overly long incubation time.  Is the stuff still edible??

Home-made yogurt tends to be more liquid than the pectin-laden product you may be used to in stores, so I'd recommend pouring the whey out into a cup or bowl.

Then, stir your whey-less yogurt and see if it's a desirable consistency. You can always pour some of the whey back into jar.

It's hard to tell what you mean by "semi-substantial" without knowing volume or proportions. 2 T in 8 oz. jars? 1/4 of a cup?

I've asked about using whey here at eG before and received good advice I've subsequently found elsewhere in books and online. Some folk collect it and use it in baking. (Just adjust the amount of water in a bread recipe, for example, when you add whey.) I may have heard whey is good for women whose days of PMS are numbered.

As for long incubation time, no. Not to blame. If you read through this thread, you'll find most of us make yogurt without any special machines and find that if you leave your fully prepared yogurt out longer, it develops a stronger tangy flavor that some prefer. If anything, the yogurt should become more solid, no?

Cf. comments about adding dried milk to the milk along w the starter. I was skeptical at first, but now make it a regular habit no matter what the fat content of the milk I'm heating.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I noticed a semi-substantial layer of whey sitting on the top.  Would people recommend stirring this in, or straining it out?  Any thoughts??

ETA: Since it was my first time making yogurt, I think I can attribute the whey to an overly long incubation time.  Is the stuff still edible??

Home-made yogurt tends to be more liquid than the pectin-laden product you may be used to in stores, so I'd recommend pouring the whey out into a cup or bowl.

Then, stir your whey-less yogurt and see if it's a desirable consistency. You can always pour some of the whey back into jar.

It's hard to tell what you mean by "semi-substantial" without knowing volume or proportions. 2 T in 8 oz. jars? 1/4 of a cup?

I've asked about using whey here at eG before and received good advice I've subsequently found elsewhere in books and online. Some folk collect it and use it in baking. (Just adjust the amount of water in a bread recipe, for example, when you add whey.) I may have heard whey is good for women whose days of PMS are numbered.

As for long incubation time, no. Not to blame. If you read through this thread, you'll find most of us make yogurt without any special machines and find that if you leave your fully prepared yogurt out longer, it develops a stronger tangy flavor that some prefer. If anything, the yogurt should become more solid, no?

Cf. comments about adding dried milk to the milk along w the starter. I was skeptical at first, but now make it a regular habit no matter what the fat content of the milk I'm heating.

Thanks so much! This was very helpful. I probably had what looked like 1-2 TBS of whey after incubating for 9hrs or so. I may try some powdered milk next time; that may help.

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Thanks so much!  This was very helpful.  I probably had what looked like 1-2 TBS of whey after incubating for 9hrs or so.  I may try some powdered milk next time; that may help.

You're welcome! That's a trivial amount of whey, seems to me. Just part of the natural process.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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