I guess it’s my own fault. I don’t know why, but I listened to that woman again. I’m talking about my mother, of course, whose topmost culinary achievement is microwaved oatmeal… Somehow she convinced me to buy a yogurt maker. Little did I know that her version of “extremely easy to make and absolutely delicious” yogurt looks like buttermilk and has utterly tart flavor.
For some time I thought that whatever we save on not buying commercial yogurt we are going to spend on psychiatrist fees, since I was going mad trying to play with temperatures, processing times, and ingredients in order to produce an eatable substance with a nice thick texture that my household loves.
Finally my yogurt is up to par with our favorite brands, and I can proudly share the recipe with you! This one is for my EuroCuisine yogurt maker that uses about 1 QT of milk and has 7 individual jars.
HOMEMADE VANILA-MAPLE YOGURT
- 1 qt milk (you can choose any milk you like from fat-free to whole)
- 1 pckg yogurt starter
- 7 tbs dry milk
- 1 tbs vanilla
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
Pour milk into a medium-size saucepan and turn the heat to low. Warm up the milk to 180⁰ F (approx. 80⁰C), steering to avoid burning. On my small gas burner it takes about 15 minutes.
Immediately take the milk off the gas and chill to 110⁰ F (approx. 40⁰ C). The process could be expedited if you place the saucepan into a bigger dish filled with ice cubes.
Meanwhile, measure the other ingredients, and turn on the yogurt maker to warm it up.
Once the milk reaches 110⁰ F (approx. 40⁰ C), pour about 1/3 of it into a mixing bowl. Whisk in the yogurt starter. Once yogurt starter is dissolved, whisk in dry milk. Mix in vanilla and maple syrup.
Pour the mixture into the remaining milk through a fine strainer. Mix to incorporate and pour into the yogurt jars. Place the open jars in the yogurt maker and cover them with the top.
Let process for about 7 hours or until your yogurt reaches desired consistency.
Turn the yogurt maker off. Remove the jars and cover them with individual lids. Immediately place your yogurt into the fridge in order to stop the fermentation.
NOTES: If you read the directions above, yogurt recipe actually is “extremely easy”. However, it does require attention. The higher the temperatures – the more acidic the flavor, same goes for longer processing times. We were trying to make yogurt based on the Gottschall’s recipes from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Her version requires at least 24 hours of processing time in order to kill all lactose. The end result was so tart, it even smelled sour. We could only use it as a flavor enhancer for soups and such. Also, fortifying yogurt with dry milk gives you a more nutritious product, though it makes it much thicker. We like it thick, so it works for us, but the yogurt will still taste good without it.