Friday, November 19, 2010


I'm back on track making our own yogurt, even though I still haven't gotten around to ordering culture from my usual place. I just heat a gallon of milk up to near boiling, let the temperature come down to body temperature, add a quart of yogurt with live cultures (either from the store or, mostly, from the last batch), then put it in a barely warmed-up oven for 5-8 hours. The step I've started doing which I hadn't done before is to strain it for 45 minutes or so through a pillowcase. WOW! This makes incredible Greek-style yogurt, as thick as sour cream. I let it drip until about 6 cups of whey have come out. It's incredible yogurt. If I let it drip longer, I'd have labneh which I also love. Maybe I'll do that with the next batch. Haven't had that in quite a while. It would go great with those olives!

I'm curious to see how long the store-bought yogurt lasts past the original purchase in terms of maintaining an active culture. I figure I would have to get 80 batches of yogurt to make it equal to the cost of the culture, so there's really no comparison, but still I'm curious. If I get only eight batches of yogurt, that's about $2.50 per gallon of yogurt (or about 1/7 the cost of yogurt at the store!). If I use freeze-dried culture, it's $2.05 per gallon of yogurt. Either way, it's a bargain.

So, try straining your yogurt, even if it's the store-bought variety. WOW! I don't even want to add any jam to it. More fun culinary experiments...

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