First put your milk in the pot and turn the heat to med. You can heat the milk to 115 and keep the yogurt raw or to 160, really it is up to what you are comfortable with.
Then once the milk has reached the desired temperature take it off the heat and turn off the burner. (If you choose to heat to 160 you need to let the temperature come down to 115 before moving to the next step.) Get the yogurt out and set it on your counter take the chill off and keep the temperature of the milk from going to low. Now for my gallon of milk I get out about 1 cup of yogurt so if you are doing a smaller batch, say a quart, then 1/8th of a cup would be enough.
When the milk is 110-115 deg ladle out some of the warm milk into the yogurt you had sitting out, stir to combine and get most of the lumps out. (Do not stir too vigorously or it will damage your culture!)
Now pour that milk yogurt mix into the pot of warm milk and stir to combine.
Now you can put that mix into anything that will keep it at the 110-115 degree temperature, like a cooler, a crockpot on warm or wrapped in dishtowls, a yogurt maker or I like to put mine into old yogurt containers and in the dehydrator. Like I said before you can make it in just about anything that holds heat! (You really do not want to go over the temperature suggestions, it will kill your culture and the yogurt will not set.)
It is best to let it culture for 8 hours, the longer you go the more tart it will become and the shorter you go you run the risk of it not firming up. After the 8 hours you should be able to see a container full of yogurt!
If you want to have a greek style yogurt then all you do is take the yogurt and strain it out in a colander lined with cheese cloth that is over a bowl. The longer you let it drain the thicker it becomes, think cream cheese texture. So I would recommend another 8-12 hours for a greek yogurt like consistency.
The yellowish liquid that drained out of the yogurt is the whey. Don't toss it! You can use it for soaking your grains, beans and flour to neutralize the phytic acid found in these grains that makes them harder to digest and assimilate the nutrients. All you do is take a Tablespoon of the whey and mix it with the liquid portion of your recipe 12-24 hours prior to cooking. So if you are making a loaf of bread take all the wet ingredients - 1 Tbs, add the Tbs of whey and the flour and let set overnight. The next day add the rest of the ingredients and bake. I have found this really helps me with my gluten sensitivity, if I soak my spelt four I do not have the digestive and skin upset that comes when I don't. A must have book with more information and recipes is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. This book has been a wonderful resource for wholesome, healthy food preparations in our household. We also give some whey to our kitty and chickens.
Another thing you can try is making these "lemon meringue bars" I have adapted the recipe from a vintage pie from Farm Journals Complete Pie Cook Book that was used when lemon juice was an expensive commodity so you had to stretch it out; think Amy March's limes from Little Women. Mine is refined sugar and gluten free.
Old fashioned with a Twist
"Lemon" Meringue Whey Bars
7 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 3/4 cup almond flour
1/2-cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons honey
2-teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Mix the flours and salt together
- Add the wet ingredients and mix well with hands
- Press into a 9x7 baking dish lined with parchment paper.
- Bake 14 min until the edges are slightly brown.
- Let cool for filling
1 ¾ cups of liquid whey
½ cup honey
½ teaspoons liquid stevia
Scant ½ cup of arrowroot powder or cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons of melted butter
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon lemon oil
- Bring 1 cup whey to boil in medium saucepan
- In separate bowl, whisk honey, arrowroot powder and 1/2 cup cold whey until it forms a smooth paste
- Add paste mixture into the hot whey, stirring constantly until it thickens
- In another small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks and combine with butter, salt, remaining 1/4 cup whey and lemon oil
- Temper by pouring a small amount of the hot mixture into egg yolk mixture and stirring, to ensure you don't end up with bits of scrambled eggs
- Add tempered mixture back into saucepan, cook 2 min longer or till it thickens.(this is very important as it will not firm up in the fridge if not thick enough.)
- Pour filling into crust and chill in refrigerator
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons Erythritol sweetener pulverized in coffee grinder (or pure cane crystals sugar)
- Use electric mixer to beat egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla extract in a bowl until entire mixture is foamy, but not yet starting to thicken
- Begin to add sweetener, one tablespoon at a time
- Beat thoroughly after each addition
- Dissolve sugar completely
- Once all sugar is added, continue to beat mixture at medium-high speed until it forms stiff, sharp peaks when you lift mixer from bowl
- Fill a piping bag or sandwich baggie with a hole cut at one end with the meringue.
- Dump remaining meringue in a mound in center and smooth out evenly
- Pipe little “kisses” covering the smooth layer of meringue.
- Carefully place pie in preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees 12-15 minutes
Chill before serving
The Farmer in the Dell
Next week…get ready for magic, and "mug" cheese!