How do you make homemade yoghurt? Yoghurt is easily produced in the home kitchen without any special equipment, except for possibly the right type of thermometer. The basic steps in yoghurt making are to heat milk to 85 °C (185 °F), cooling it to 43 °C (110 °F), stir a starter of live yoghurt cultures (usually lactobacillus bulgaricus and/or streptococcus thermophilus) or a small amount of plain yoghurt (from previous batch or store-bought), ferment at 43 °C (110 °F) for seven hours, and then chill overnight in a refrigerator.
The heating of the milk can be accomplished via direct heat using any number of kitchen appliances, but a double boiler or water jacket provides the most consistent heat without burning. Using a cold water bath will quickly lower the milk temperature to 43 °C (110 °F).
Once the mixture is cooled to 43 °C (110 °F), the starter is added and the mixture is kept as close to 43 °C (110 °F) as possible for seven hours. During this period, the active cultures consume the lactose in the milk, curdling it, and creating lactic acid. Lactic acid is what gives yoghurt its distinctive tangy flavour. The longer the mixture sits, the thicker and more tangy it will become. To maintain the milk with bacteria at this warm temperature, a cooking thermometer and an oven are often used. Alternatives include the use of a thermos, special yoghurt-making machines (to make larger quantities of yoghurt), microwaves, and even heating pads.
Additionally, some nonfat-dry milk may be added to thicken the end product and if one wishes to increase the nutritional content of the yoghurt (this is added before the yeast culture or active yoghurt is added to the milk).
However, the organic natural yoghurt contains only milk and live active cultures.
- Yogurt can be made from whole, lowfat or skim milk or reconstituted nonfat dry milk powder.
- Most yogurt in the United States is made from cow's milk.
- In other countries, yogurt is made from the milk of water buffalo, yak, goat, horses and sheep.
Note: Yoghurt Spelling
In English, there are several variations of the spelling of the word. In the United States, yogurt is the usual spelling and yoghurt a minor variant. In the United Kingdom yoghurt and yogurt are both current, yoghurt being more common, and yoghourt is an uncommon alternative. Canada uses mostly yogurt and yogourt, the latter being particularly common in bilingual packaging, as it is also the spelling in Canadian French; in Australia and New Zealand yoghurt prevails. In Mexican Spanish (in which 'h' is a silent letter), the word is often written as yogurt.
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