Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Low Temperature Yogurt Success!

So.... yesterday was my fourth attempt at low temperature yogurt from raw milk.  The previous attempts (here)  were not bad, just runny.  This batch had pectin added to it.  SUCCESS!  I am going to try gelatin next time, but am happy with this batch.  It was not exactly the same texture as cooked yogurt, but has a nice texture and you can eat it with a spoon... kind of.  I drained some of it to further thicken it.

Here were the steps:

Assemble the ingredients:  Raw milk, pectin, a little boiling water, low temperature yogurt starter, crock pot half full of water at 110 degrees, thermometer, bath towel, jars and lids, scrubbed clean, that fit into the crock pot, a blender and a nice cup of hot tea (for me)
Per the directions on the pectin package, make up the calcium water.  Then, for four cups of raw milk, I used 4 tsp. of pectin.  This went into the blender, then add boiling water and blend (I tried to cheat this step and ended up with nasty clumps) until it is smooth.  Then add the four cups of raw milk and the starter while the blender is running.  Add a couple of tsp. of calcium water and pour this mixture into the jars and lid them tightly.
 Get the water temperature  to 110 degrees.
Calcium Water.  You make it up and leave the rest in the fridge for next time.
The mess from trying to cheat the pectin... I tried to hand mix it.

After everything is lidded up, add it to the water bath and cover it with a heavy bath towel.  Make sure the crock pot is off, unless you are trying to bring the temperature up a little bit.  I did turn it on when I first put it in... the cold milk mixture dropped my temperature by about 10 degrees.
Check the temperature every couple of hours.  I had to turn mine on warm for 20 minutes about every 2-1/2 hours.  The temperature held at 104 for most of the time.  When it got down to 100 I turned the crock pot on warm.

After chilling, it was half way between runny and thick.  I mixed some up with lemon curd and a pinch each of salt and cinnamon for my hubby's lunch today.  He does have some soaked granola  to mix in it if it is too thin.

I am currently making one batch a little thicker by draining it.  My friend made me a bag for draining and it is working really well.  She sells them on her Etsy store.
 Here is her list of how long to drain.  I plan to drain my half runny yogurt for 2 hours for regular yogurt.
  • Drain plain yogurt and in 1-2 hours you have Greek Yogurt
  • Drain plain yogurt and in 18 hours you have Cream Cheese
  • Drain plain yogurt for 1-18 hours for whey to use in other recipes
  • Cottage Cheese and Ricotta Cheese both need to be drained

The final yogurt turned out beautiful, tangy and with a lovely texture.  The lemon curd gave it a nice flavor and my son and I shared this very small bowl with some soaked granola for breakfast.  It was plenty.  Always remember to use smaller servings with nutrient dense foods.... you don't need as much!

Be blessed and well today