Promoting culture: homemade yogurt

Promoting culture (yogurt) at home – who can argue with supporting and spreading culture? After making my own yogurt at home, I’m going with .. no one.  Seeing articles in a few of my magazines and a natural progression after canning (jam is the gateway can?), I went ahead and cultured my own yogurt. It turned out delicious, this batch being more fluid than store bought but still creamy and tasty (like the kind we feasted on in Paris). This is going into the regulation rotation.  Next Culture Experiment will be kombucha – stay tuned. Kimchi happened a few years ago but will be having a re-awakening as well.

Step 1: Select guidance – this particular article is from  Madame Martha’s Living.

Step 2: Follow said guidance, but in general heat up quality milk on the stove top to 185 F, then cool it back down to 110

Step 3:In a separate container, in my case pyrex liquid measuring cup mix milk and some “starter yogurt”. Basically some of any kind of yogurt with live cultures in your fridge. For this time I used a non-fat plain Greek yogurt. No complaints, would probably be cautious with flavored. I guess you can buy the culture starters too, likely import them from France, if so included.

Step 4: Pour into the yogurt’s final resting place, in this case a quart mason jar. I will say that I used a quart of milk and this just about filled it to the gills. a note to self for next time to use a little less milk.

Step 5: Swadle the jar, without lid and put in a pan, so it has a nice place to sit (and spill if that happens). I did put my lid on just to transport it to step 6, aka the oven, since my jar was so darn full. I took it offer but putting in the oven.

Step 6: Let the magic begin. I chose to use the oven light to create a warmer environment for culture expansion.  I heated it up when I started the recipe for just a few minutes then turned off heat and switched on light.  I’ve read of many other approaches (hot water, crock pot etc).

Step 7: Good things come to those who wait. Hang out for the next 5+ hours until the yogurt appears or basically it is no longer liquidy but custardy.

Step 8: Enjoy!  I used mine as a breakfast with berries and granola, as sour cream substitute in a cake recipe and spinach dip recipe, and made a ranch dip (using powdered ranch dressing). The little bit left will hand down the magic to the next generation.  It will be interesting to see how this batch progresses.