Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adventures in yogurt

 I've been making yogurt lately, and I've been wondering why it's taken me so long. I started with my mom's old salton yogurt maker- which has the cutest littel glass cups, and makes one quart of yogurt split into five jars. The first time I made it It was a wierd sort of consistency it tasted okay, and all- but it was wierdly gelatinous, so after another morning of searching on chowhound I found this post- and the yogurt gods smiled on me.

I wasn't heating the milk high enough- so after heating the homo milk to 185 degrees- then letting it cool to 110/105 degrees- I stirred in the starter (Astro yogurt- all natural, balkan style original, plain yogurt- 1/2 cup), and let it sit in the yogurt maker- but as I checked it wasn't quite getting warm enough- only 100 degrees, and I wanted 105 degress, I'm sure it's not such a big deal- but instead I poured the yogurt into a pyrex nesting bowl, (the second smallest)and zapped it in the microwave for 45 seconds, then put that bowl into the largest nesting bowl, which I filled with hot tap water- to give the yogurt an insulating water bath- I stuck a thermometer in the yogurt and covered with saran wrap- and then stuck the whole thing in the microwave to sit, checking every hour or two- warming it up as needed- for twelve hours.

It was good yogurt- tangy and smooth- and creamy- but I thought I could do more- so I strained it to maek greek style yogurt- after an hour in the strainer int he fridge (a regualer strainer over a bowl- lined with a coffee filter), it was so delicious, lots of water came out and I was left with yogurt like sour cream- tangy and rich.

I was also looking around online a bit more- and found that if you leave the yogurt overnight in the strainer for two days- it becomes like cream cheese, tastier though- especially when mixed with dill and green onion. It's addictive, and oh so excellent on crsuty french bread. Also I used store bought yogurt to make this 'creamcheese'- the above mentioned Astro brand of plain yogurt- so no need to mess around with making yogurt yourself to indulge in this treat.

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