Yoghurt is really very easy to make at home. All you need is some yoghurt as a starter, and some full cream milk. I have been making my own yoghurt all this while, the only time I buy yoghurt is when I ran out of yoghurt as a starter to make another batch of yoghurt. I used my homemade yoghurt for baking, cooking, desserts or just eat it as it is. It is also great with some granola or fresh fruits and makes a wonderful ingredient in dressings and sauces.
When a recipe calls for buttermilk in cakes baking, I would substitute buttermilk with a mixture of homemade yoghurt and milk (source from Dorie Greenspan), ratio is 1/3 cup yoghurt and 2/3 cup of milk, stir to combine and leave for about 5 minutes before using. It works out great each time,
I have posted before how I made plain yoghurt, and today, I'm sharing my Homemade Vanilla Yoghurt.
The ingredients for making yoghurt : Fresh Yoghurt and Full Cream Milk
I always use Sunglo fresh yoghurt, which contains live ABT cultures, the microorganisms which helps to convert milk into yoghurt, and is beneficial to human health. Whatever brand of yoghurt you use, make sure that it contains ABT cultures. And I always use full cream milk, which makes a creamier yoghurt than using low-fat milk.
You would only need about 2 tablespoons or so of yoghurt as a starter, and if you are wondering what to do with the rest of the yoghurt in the tub, simply freeze them in ice cube trays, store them in the freezer and each time you need to use, take the amount required and thaw before use. Here is how I store the unused store-bought yoghurt :
What to do with leftover yoghurt :
1. Take out the amount you need and place it into a mug. I would call this as the yoghurt starter.
2. Fill up the ice cube trays with the balance yoghurt.
3. Place in the freezer overnight until frozen solid.
4. The frozen cubes of yoghurt.
5. I placed each cube of frozen yoghurt in small plastic bags. I would recommend packing the cubes in small plastic bags, as I find that when I store them together without the plastic bags, they tend to stick together and it would be difficult to separate them when they are frozen.
6. Fold each of the small plastic bags over and place them in a zip lock bag. Store in the freezer and each time when you need some (either for yoghurt making or in a dish which requires just a small amount of yoghurt, this would come in handy) , just take the amount required, and thaw before use.
Now, lets's make some yoghurt :
To make two cups of yoghurt :
1. Put two cups of full cream milk into a medium pot.
2. Slit open a vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds, put the seeds and the vanilla pods into the milk. (If you are making plain yoghurt, simply omit the vanilla bean).
3. Heat the milk over low heat, and bring it to just under a boil, when the milk at the sides of the pot is just beginning to boil. Turn off heat, let milk cool to just warm to the touch, which would take about 30-45 minutes.
4. Scoop about one third cup of warm milk into the reserved yoghurt starter in the mug. The milk must be just warm, as too hot, it will kill the microorganism in the starter. Stir to combine well, making sure that the yoghurt starter is fully dissolved.
5. Pour the starter mixture back into the pot of milk. Stir till evenly combined.
6. Remove the vanilla pod.
7. Strain the mixture over a sieve into a clean container, to remove any milk skin or curdles that has formed. Don't worry, most of the tiny vanilla seeds will go thru the strainer.
8. The strained milk with the speckled of vanilla seeds.
9. Close the container. Leave at room temperature overnight, or longer, in a warm corner, undisturbed, until yoghurt sets.
10. Or, simply do as I always do, place the container of yoghurt in a microwave oven, with a cup of hot water next to it. DO NOT TURN ON THE MICROWAVE OVEN. Close the microwave oven, leave the container in it overnight to set. Remember do not turn on the oven, it is merely acting as a vacuum so that the hot vapour from that cup of hot water will circulate within the oven, and to keep the microorganisms happy in the warm environment that they will help to set the yoghurt.
Homemade Vanilla Yoghurt. Store the container in the fridge and enjoy!
This is the plain yoghurt which I made the week before. For plain yoghurt, simply omit the vanilla beans.
You could use your own homemade yoghurt as a starter for the next batch of yoghurt. I have made yoghurt using my own homemade yoghurt as a starter, which is good for two batches, and after that it would be advisable to start on a fresh yoghurt starter with live ABT cultures.
And if you need some Greek yoghurt, you can make your own too. Place two layers of cheese cloth over a sieve, and place the sieve in a bowl. Pour two cups of homemade yoghurt onto the cheese cloth, and place the sieve with the bowl in the fridge, for a few hours or overnight. The thickened yoghurt collected on the cheese cloth will be the Greek yoghurt and the whey collected in the bowl can either be discarded or use for bread making.
Now you have seen how easy to make your own yoghurt! There's no need to get one of those yoghurt making machine, you do not really need it. If you have not tried making your own yoghurt before, give it a try, you will enjoy the process of making it, and even better, the rewards of creamy homemade yoghurt to be enjoyed later! And it is so much cheaper to make your own!
This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (May 2015 : Yoghurt) organized by Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Cheryl of Baking Taitai