I’ve rethought my yoghurt making process a little since I wrote my book a few years ago. This was because I met David Asher who is an amazing cheesemaker and I bought a dehydrator. Now I gently heat my milk for a good hour like David does to really reduce it and make a thicker yoghurt. The second change is that I put the jars in the dehydrator for a few hours and it is perfect. My yoghurt lasts a good 2 weeks in the fridge which is great for those of us who are a little lazy!
Esky or cooler or dehydrator or a sweater/jumper and a warm place.
Heavy-based medium sized saucepan
2 x sterilised 500ml jars
1 tablespoon of store bought natural yoghurt at room temperature. This is your starter culture. You can also use store bought powdered culture.
1L un-homogenised, organic full cream milk. The better the milk, the better the yoghurt.
1. Heat the milk: In a medium sized heavy-based saucepan or double boiler, very slowly and gently heat your milk to 82C. It should not be boiling but lightly foaming around the edges.
Continuing on a very low heat, keep your milk at this temperature for 10 minutes, stirring constantly with your wooden spoon so it doesn’t catch on the bottom.
2. Cool: Take your milk off the heat and leave to cool to 46C. If you are in a hurry, you can put your pan in a sink full of cold water to hurry things along.
3. Mix in the starter: When it reaches 46C, remove 1/2 cup of milk into a small cup and mix in your tablespoon of yogurt making sure there are no lumps. Then stir this back into the rest of the milk.
4. Fill the jars: Fill your jars with the milk and yoghurt mix, wipe the rims clean and put on the lids.
5. Culture: Use on of the culturing methods below. Transfer to the fridge and use within one week.
You can use this yoghurt as your starter for your next batch but it will only last up 3-5 more batches. After this, you will need to start again with store bought yogurt.
The basic process here is to make sure the jars are kept at around 40 degrees Celcius for at least 4-6 hours. The yoghurt will firm up when it is in the fridge.
Method 1: Pour 2 cups of boiling water into your Esky. Empty the water out of the Esky after about 15 minutes and close the lid to keep it warm. When the jars are ready, empty it of the water and place the jars inside overnight.
Method 2: Place the jars into a dehydrator and warm for 4-6 hours at 40 degrees.
Method 3: You can also wrap your jars in a blanket and put somewhere warm (not in direct sunlight). This method might take a little longer.