Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dairy Queen

Encouraged by my success with making ricotta and this well-timed NY Times article, I decided that for this week's Blue Plate I would continue to play with milk, and make some yogurt.

The Blue Plate Special: Peach, cherries and blueberries
with a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of honey

I eat yogurt almost every day, so it seemed like a good thing to experiment with. Plus, it's easy. All you need is milk and a few tablespoons of pre-existing yogurt that has active live culture. I used good ol' Dannon.

Basically, all you do is heat a quart of milk to 180-190 degrees (steaming, but not boiling), let it cool to about 120 (warm bathwater), and stir in 2 tbsp of yogurt. Then let your yogurt sit in a warm place for 4-5 hours, so the bacteria can do their thing. You want to keep it at about 110-120 degrees. I used a crock pot with warm water in it.

Phineas helped me set up this crock pot to incubate the yogurt.

When it is done, just stick it in the fridge to firm up.

I ran into one glitch: the yogurt tasted wonderful (tangy, creamy, rich) but was somewhat watery. Perhaps I didn't heat the milk enough, my Dannon wasn't as lively as it ought to have been, or I didn't give the bacteria enough time to do their job. However, after some time in a strainer, I now have a gorgeous creamy and tangy greek-style yogurt.

Stay tuned for what I make with my yogurt.

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