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RECIPE : Homemade Yoghurt

Here are two recipes to make homemade yoghurt: the cold start method with an instant pot and the warm start method using a yoghurt machine or cooler box.

The instant pot recipe is a very simple recipe without too many technical terms and temperatures. If you want to experiment with different techniques and cultures there is a lot of information on the internet and you could also buy a starter culture from Finest Kind.

You can also experiment with different fruit purees and flavours. The possibilities are endless.

Yoghurt technically isn’t cooked. It’s incubated—which means it's held at a constant warm temperature (between 43˚C and 46°C). This encourages desirable, heat-happy bacteria to be fruitful and multiply.

Instant Pot Yoghurt

Makes 2L

Ingredients

2L of full cream milk

4 tbsp of yoghurt starter culture

Method

  • Add 2 litres of milk to the instant pot
  • Add 4 tbsp of your favourite yoghurt. The yoghurt needs to have active probiotics, and should ideally be additive, preservative and gelatine free. (My favourite yoghurt to use is Lancewood and gives pretty good results)
  • Whisk well
  • Set to yoghurt setting for 8 hours (longer if you prefer a tangier taste)
  • Strain to separate whey
  • Decant and refrigerate for a couple of hours
  • Eat and enjoy!

 

Warm Start Method

Makes 1L

Ingredients

1L of full cream milk

2 tbsp of yoghurt starter culture

Method

  • Using a thermometer, heat milk slowly on stove top to 83-90˚C. Heating the milk too quickly results in a grainy textured yoghurt. 
  • Maintain the heat for 20 minutes. Heat denatures the proteins, allowing them to knit and form a stronger network when exposed to acid, therefore holding at a higher temperature will give you a firmer yoghurt. 
  • Cool milk down to 45˚C. You can let it cool naturally or place in a water bath.
  • When cool, add the starter culture. This can be a store-bought yoghurt, but it must have live culture and no additives, stabilizers or gelatin - Woolworths double thick yoghurt or Lancewood works well. Alternatively, add 2 tablespoons of yoghurt from a previous homemade batch for every litre of yoghurt, or 3-4 grains of starter culture from Finest Kind.
  • Use what you have to incubate the yoghurt. I have a Severin yoghurt maker, but you can achieve the same results using a cooler box with a hot water bottles and insulating towels or a Wonderbag. Monitor that the temperature stays between 43˚C and 46°.
  • Incubate for 6-8 hours in the yoghurt maker, or 10-12 hours in a cooler box.
  • Place in fridge and leave undisturbed for 12 hours or more.

Notes

Make sure to always keep about 4 tablespoons of the yoghurt to use as a starter for your next batch. After a few batches you might need a new starter if the taste gets too sour.

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