3.01.2007

Heating Pad Yogurt

...what the heck, thought I might as well post this...

Heating Pad Yogurt

I have made my own yogurt using a gallon of whole milk, it's very simple and so much better than store bought yogurt.

I divide the gallon (or you could do a half-gallon into 2 quarts or even a single quart--depends upon how many yogurt-eaters you have in your house) into 4 1qt. containers and nuke the milk until it is at 180-185° (checking every few minutes with a meat thermometer), then cool it (covered) to 110-115° at room temperature (it takes about 90 minutes in a seventyish degree home with few drafts), then add 2TB of Dannon plain full fat (though non fat and fat free work just as well), set containers in a medium-sized cooler under a heating pad set to low, close the lid, and allow to "incubate" UNDISTURBED for 8-24 hours (the longer the incubation, the stronger the yogurt flavor).

Note: it is VERY important that all containers and utensils be VERY clean, as the only bacteria you want in your yogurt is the beneficial yogurt bacteria. Other contaminants can cause the yogurt to not set-up properly.
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Variations:

for creamier, richer yogurt -
3C Whole milk
6oz. Heavy Cream
2oz. plain yogurt starter
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Draining for yogurt cheese (Yocheese/Greek-style yogurt):

Either use a yogurt cheese funnel or line a colander with cheesecloth, large coffee filter or layers of white paper towels. Set the colander over a large bowl. Spoon in the yogurt and put in the fridge. Cover and allow to drain for 2 to 10 hours, depending on the consistency desired. Discard the drained-off whey. Store in fridge. Pour off any liquid that drains from the cheese before using. Can be used as a substitute for cream cheese, sour cream, or even mayo. It is also wonderful with DaVinci sugar-free syrup or other flavored syrups, fruit compotes, or jam stirred-in.

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