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Topic: Yogurt

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Subject: Yogurt
Date Posted: 1/27/2010 2:44 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 1,157
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Lately I've been making yogurt, and it has been wonderful. However, I have two yogurt machines... one is a pain in the butt because it has six little cups to make the yogurt in, but it's very reliable. The other takes a whole quart in one container, but it doesn't seem to ever come out right. (The milk thickens to a heavy liquid but never becomes a more gel-like yogurt.) I'm testing it and experimenting with it still, it seems like it should be okay, so I may yet get it to work. 

Does anybody have any tried and true yogurt recipes to share? Here's what I'm doing that's working in the reliable machine:

  • Heat 4 quarts whole milk to 180 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Cover and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Pour a few tablespoons into a clean cup, and mix with 2 to 4 tablespoons of starter yogurt with active cultures. (I started with Dannon, and then I'm reusing from the last batch.)
  • Mix contents of cup back into main batch of milk.
  • Pour into cups and process in machine for 8 to 12 hours. 
Date Posted: 1/27/2010 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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I like food and cooking, but this is waaaay beyond me.....!

Date Posted: 1/30/2010 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 4,981
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When I used to make yogurt and it came out too thin (which was most of the time, I think yogurt companies clearly add some thickeners to theirs!), I tried adding some dry milk powder to the recipe, and that seemed to help alot.  My yogurt maker holds about one quart of milk (not 4!).  I'd add about 1/3 or 1/2 cup of powered milk to a batch right from the start.  Made a big difference.   You might need to experiment with the amount to find what works best for you.

However, I also kind of grew to like the thinner yogurt.  Sometimes it's just a matter of getting used to the difference.

Date Posted: 1/31/2010 6:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 1,157
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ugh, I should have said 4 *cups*. 1 quart. Sorry. Me bad.

So, I've been experimenting, and reading on the web. It seems that the amount of time that you keep the milk at 180 degrees is important. So, if I do what I wrote above, it comes out thin and runny. (tasty, but thin and runny.) However, if I use the exact same ingredients and procedure BUT keep the milk at 180 degrees for half an hour before allowing it to cool, it reliably comes out thick like yogurt from the store, without the addition of any powdered milk or other thickeners, regardless of which machine I make it in. Apparently you have to give the heat time to denature the proteins so that the yogurt culture is better able to thicken them.

The thin, runny yogurt (which works just fine without any heating prior to incubation at all if I want) is actually quite handy as a culture starter because it mixes in very easily, so I may whip up a batch of that every few weeks too. 

The thickened yogurt is what I want for an actual end product, because I'm putting my yogurt in a strainer and making it into greek style (thick and heavy) yogurt, which is fabulous (omg, I am making the best yogurt you've ever had) but you have to start with the thicker yogurt to begin with because the runny stuff goes right through the strainer leaving nothing behind.

Date Posted: 2/5/2010 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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When you strain it, do you use a cofffe filter?  I just started making my own yogart too.  I don't have a machine.  The first time after heating the milk, I put into container and kept warm for several hours in my crockpot with water.  The next two times, I put in a cooler with warm water and left near the wood stove to keep warm.  As I try more, they are getting thicker, but I still have been having to strain some of the whey out.    I am going to try your idea of keeping the milk at 180 for longer then I have been.

 

Date Posted: 2/7/2010 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,536
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The altitude here makes it impossible to get a yogurt product that is good for anything but drinks like lassis.  At sea level in Kansas, I was able to get a good but never as solid a yogurt as you can buy.  So, if I wanted it thick, I put several layers of cheese cloth in a BIG funnel and let the liquid drain off in the fridge.  Sometimes it was great, but truthfully, I never got a product like what is in the store.   If you figure it out, please share it. 

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2007
Posts: 1,739
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I just made slowcooker yogurt yesterday. Turned out great ! Cant wait to make the next match.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 3:22 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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I use a six individual cup model (it's actually one my mom has had since the 70s) and mine always comes out thick. Maybe the individual cups allow for more even heating?

I like to drain my yogurt until it is a cream cheese consistency, salt it, and spread it on crackers. It's quite sour, but strangely addicting.

Subject: store yogurt has gelatin in it
Date Posted: 7/1/2010 11:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2010
Posts: 9
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At least most yogurt you buy does. I don't make my own but I get a (nonfat) kind that uses pectin instead of gelatin. Some of this I put in a coffee filter in a funnel and drain out the whey, to make "yogurt cheese" which is like cream cheese only nonfat and a little tastier. That's my non-fat spread. The whey I use in baking.

Years ago before yogurt makers were on the market, I would put yogurt into hot reconstituted dry skim milk, wrap the jar in terrycloth towels and leave it overnight in a "warm" oven.

Date Posted: 7/14/2010 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2009
Posts: 27
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Crock Pot Yogurt? How do you do that? I would love to try it! Recipe or website?