Whichever spelling you prefer, there is no denying that yoghurt is a fantastically healthy food. I can’t remember how long i’ve been making it (well over twenty years..im showing my age) but I do know that nowadays I make it as simple as possible. I have one of those heated boxes from the eighties that makes six little cups at a time. Its a great device but I do worry about the plastic lids under the heat for all those hours. Also, hubby eats them two at a time with his breakfast so I’m always having to make more.
My solution is to make radiator yoghurt. So quick and easy, but the best bit is that its free heat and you can make loads at a time!
So what do you need? Just milk and a bit of yoghurt from your last batch as a starter. I buy organic full fat milk and that makes a lovely thick yoghurt on its own. I don’t see the need to add anything such as powdered milk to it. Want it thicker? Strain a bit of whey off and you will have a lovely thick greek yoghurt. Don’t forget to use the strained whey in your bread making or add it to your overnight oats.
I have also heated my milk many ways in the past. I used the microwave for a few years but I found it a bit of a faff to have to watch it closely all the time. Many times i’ve wasted milk when it decides to erupt and empty itself all over the floor of the microwave. I can’t be the only one this happens to!
I then moved onto using a pan and as long as the heat is low enough, I find that a quick stir every so often is enough to make the milk behave and not burn at the bottom. I usually use a food thermometer and take the temperature up to 85c
Since I got a Thermomix its just become so easy. I simply pour in the milk. Set the time and temp I want and walk away. You don’t need a Thermomix but if you have one then I recommend it highly in yoghurt making.
Here’s what I do:
My jars are old 500ml coconut oil jars that I recycle by sterilising in the dishwasher.
Measure out the required amount of full fat organic milk (whole milk blue top)
Heat it up to 85c using a food thermometer or when you see bubbles forming around the edge of the pan. I tend to stir more often as the milk reaches temperature to stop it ‘catching’ on the bottom of the pan.
I like to pour it into my waiting jars immediately but I prep the jars first by adding half an inch of the hot milk to each jar to give it chance to heat up and take away the risk of the glass cracking. Then I fill the jars to the top and leave them to cool to 45c or when a clean finger can be held in the milk quite comfortably.
At this point I add in the last scrapings of yoghurt from my previous batch. You don’t need much. I add about a heaping tsp to a 500ml jar of milk.
I also don’t bother stirring it much. I know some people say to whisk the yoghurt into the milk or even shake the jar to incorporate but i’ve found that the bacteria can move about quite happily on its own so a quick stir is all it gets.
Then its lids on and find a warm place. For most of the year that tends to be on top of a radiator. If the radiators are fairly hot I just leave them uncovered but if I think they need a bit of insulation I wrap a towel around them.
If the radiator gig is not an option then I wrap a plate warmer around the jars. Stuff a scarf or something in the top to stop the heat escaping.
Now leave it, don’t prod, stir, shake or even peep for at least five hours. I leave it anything up to about ten hours. Remove them from the heat source and let cool for an hour before putting it in the fridge overnight to set. I have to admit I have a thing for warm yoghurt and often I spoon a big dollop from the top and let it melt in my mouth. Sorry, I know its weird and hubby says I shouldn’t tell anyone about it but seriously… yum!
This is thick and creamy straight from the jar. If you stir it you will find it goes thinner but I like it just like this
For anyone wanting to make it in the Thermomix then it is 12 mins at 90c on speed 4. Yes it will reach 90c a good few minutes before the time is up but I find keeping the milk at this temperature for a little while helps in making a thicker yoghurt. Once the time is up, proceed with pouring it into jars as mentioned above.