Home-made yoghurt

Home-made yoghurt

By
From
River Cottage Every Day
Makes
500g
Photographer
Simon Wheeler

We use yoghurt all the time at River Cottage – in fruity fools and ice cream, in breads and cakes, and swirled into soups, stews and curries. We mix it with goat’s cheese and herbs to make near-instant dips, and with toasted spices to spoon into bowls of soup. But it is also, of course, an ideal breakfast food, wonderful with a spoonful of fridge jam stirred in, or a trickle of golden honey on top. Pair it with fresh, dried or stewed fruit, or muesli and it makes an even more satisfying start to the day.

Making your own yoghurt can save you money, and it also gives you complete control over what goes into it (organic or even unpasteurised milk, if you choose, and no preservatives). You just need some live yoghurt to start you off, a cooking thermometer and a warm bowl in a warm place or, easier still, a Thermos. The milk powder isn’t essential either, though it will help to thicken the yoghurt. Make sure you don’t eat all your first batch – keep a little back to make your next lot.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500ml whole milk
25g dried milk powder
3 tablespoons live, plain whole-milk yoghurt

Method

  1. Pour the milk into a saucepan and whisk in the dried milk powder. Put the pan over a medium heat, stand a cooking thermometer in it and stir gently, watching the thermometer carefully, until the temperature reaches 46°C.
  2. Take the saucepan off the heat and pour the milk into a warmed mixing bowl. Check the temperature hasn’t gone beyond 46°C. If it has, stir the milk until the temperature drops back. Whisk in the live yoghurt. The bacteria within it will start to work on the fresh milk, converting it into yoghurt.
  3. Cover the bowl with a lid or some cling film, wrap it in a towel and put it somewhere warm – in an airing cupboard or above a radiator are good places. Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into a warmed, wide-mouthed Thermos flask and seal.
  4. Check the yoghurt after 6–8 hours, or leave it overnight. If it’s still runny, leave it wrapped up in the warm for another 1–2 hours. When it has thickened and looks set, pour it into a clean container, seal and refrigerate. Home-made yoghurt isn’t as thick as commercial varieties. If you’d like a thicker finish, you can strain the yoghurt through a muslin-lined sieve over a bowl in the fridge for a few hours.
Tags:
River Cottage
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
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