Monday, 2 April 2012

I have Culture - Live and Active!

This weekend I made yogurt. 
It's not the first time but it has been a while.

It's like making bread.  
When you make it you wonder why you don't always, but in reality, who has the time!

I made yogurt when my boys were toddlers  as I don't trust some of the food producers.
Not all - but some.
 When I read an ingredients list that looks like chemical warfare I don't want my family ingesting too much of that stuff.

 I have found some no-additive products but still, in the back of my mind, I question cleanliness and employee disgruntlement (is that  word? - it should be) 

Where does it start though?
I don't milk  cows - or goat as the case may be .  I buy  milk from a grocery store and perhaps the dairy that the milk came from would annoy me if I were to inspect it closely.

Have you read the ingredients list of a whipping cream container?  Some of them have added cellulose.  Cellulose!  isn't that paper pulp? It's real name is hydroxypropyl methylcellulose.
 My grocer told me it was a stabilizer.

 I didn't buy his whipping cream.

Our government restricts me from buying dairy from the farmer down the road because it might be bad for us. Cellulose (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose)is good for us?
I just wanted whipping cream.

I'm pissed.
I'm writing a letter.  A stern letter.

Here is my recipe for yogurt.
It doesn't have cellulose in it, or gelatin, or artificial sweetener, or sugar, or cornstarch, or color,  or potassium sorbate.
 It makes 5 pints and a half pint to use as starter for the next batch.

Sterilize 5 pint jars, 1 half pint jar and lids .  I usually boil them in a canner.
You will need as well a large heavy bottom pot with a lid, a candy thermometer, a sink 1/3 full of cold water and a small waterproof cooler.

8 cups milk - I use 2% but you can use whole or skim
1/2 cup plain yogurt - that has been stirred quite well
 (this yogurt cannot have gelatin, additives and must be pure, plain yogurt) next time you can use the yogurt from the 1/2 pint made in this batch.
2 tbsp powdered milk - I use skim powder.

Put the milk and milk powder in the heavy pot and heat over med heat with the lid on.  Stir often to avoid scorch.
Scorched milk tastes nasty and, ergo, so will your yogurt - so keep a sharp eye on this!

When the temperature reaches 85 - 90 deg C (185-195 deg F) place the pot in the sink of cold water and whisk in the yogurt starter.  Stir until the temperature reaches about 55 deg C (125F) then pour into the sterilized jars.  Twist on lids finger tight and place them in the cooler.  Add hot water - no hotter than 50 deg C and no cooler than 40 deg C. about 2/3 up the sides of the jars. Close the lid.  Add hot water as necessary - I let the candy thermometer float around so that I can see the temperature at a glance.

  Just a wee bit of information -  lactobacillus (yogurt culture)  won't grow below 37 deg C and will be killed above 55 deg C.

After about 3 hours, remove the jars from the cooler, dry them, tightened the lids a bit, mark the date on the jars and place in the fridge.  The lids will seal and the yogurt will keep for about 6 weeks (if the jars stay sealed) 

Delicious!  but be sure to sterilize pots, stirring utensils and measuring cups

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