Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Home-made Yogurt

Had I known that making yogurt was so easy, I would have tried years ago. As I learned in Mireille Guiliano's best seller "French Women Don't Get Fat" (a fun summer read that reinstates many basics), a yogurt maker is totally optional. All that is required is uniform, constant warmth. An oven, turned off but with the light on, is enough. I followed her recipe:

- 1 liter 2% milk
- 1 or 2 tbsp yogurt as starter (preferably a good one with live cultures... I used Sonoma County's Saint-Benoît)

  1. Slowly bring the milk to a boil on medium-low heat. Turn off the heat as soon as the milk is steaming and small bubbles form on the edges of the pot.
  2. Transfer to another pot (or bowl) at room temperature and wait until a thermometer reads between 110F and 115F (about 45 degrees C).
  3. Mix the starter (yogurt) with a few ladles of warm milk. Then pour into the pot of milk and stir well.
  4. Fill jars and place in the oven (turned off). Cover jars with a clean cloth. Switch on the oven light. You can place a bowl of hot water in the oven if you fear the temperature won't be high enough. Wait 8 hours without opening the oven door.
  5. Cover the jars with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Wait another 8 hours.
I obtained a very creamy and uniform yogurt. It wasn't quite as solid as the original Saint-Benoît from the store but it wasn't liquid or watery either. It was so soft and sweet that I didn't need to add anything to it. A pure marvel.