To make yoghurt at home you will need some milk and a little live yoghurt.
You may use full cream milk, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, or even soya milk if you prefer. Full cream milk will obviously result in a creamier yoghurt which is nicer for eating but skimmed or semi-skimmed also produce a good result, particularly of you use my suggestion of adding a little skimmed milk powder to the warm milk.
The live yoghurt or ‘starter’ that is added to warm milk requires continuing warmth to allow the culture in the starter to grow and turn the milk into yoghurt. I have never used a thermometer for this purpose, relying on my own perception, but should you need to do so, a temperature between 30C-38C (85F-100F) is ideal. Much warmer than this and the milk will curdle. Much cooler and it will not set.
After adding the starter to the milk, it needs to be kept warm for a few hours to allow the culture to do its work. In the restaurant we would place the pot on top of the tandoor once it had been closed down, with the glowing embers still keeping the tandoor warm, and wrap the pot in several teatowels to hold in the heat. At home a warm airing cupboard is just as suitable.
If you really have a taste for home-made yoghurt, it is worth investing in a yoghurt maker. I use one at home and find this to be the easiest and most convenient way of making yoghurt.
You will require:
- 1 pt (570ml) milk
- 1 tablespoon live plain yoghurt
- 2 tablespoon skimmed milk powder (optional)
Bring the milk to the boil in a saucepan. Cover and leave to cool until warm to the touch. If using a thermometer around 40C (105F) is ideal.
Beat the yoghurt with a spoon until smooth and mix it into the milk, stirring in the skin which will have formed on top of the milk. Also stir in the skimmed milk powder if using.
Warm a bowl or any suitable non-metallic container and pour in the milk. Cover and wrap with towels or an old shawl.
Set aside in a warm place as suggested for around 4-6 hours.
Refrigerate the yoghurt until required. It will keep in perfect condition for up to five days.
Tip. Removing the yoghurt as quickly as possible after it has set will result in a sweeter yoghurt ideal for eating. If you are planning to use the yoghurt for marinating purposes only, leave it an hour or two after it has set to make it more tart.
(Picture shows here are not original)