The reason why? Right before Christmas, Cullen’s aunt bought me a Deni yogurt maker. It was quite exciting, though I had strict self-deprecating thoughts about never using it (uni-tasker), and not needing it because I could just make yogurt at home on the stove and use a Crockpot or double towels for insulation… But you know, I don’t eat a lot of yogurt, despite liking it, probably because I’m particular about it nowadays. As a kid, I was all about some YoCrunch (Oreo when I was little, strawberry-granola a few years later). Then I moved on to Yoplait Thick N’ Creamy – no other. I loved (and still love) the texture; it’s like dessert (which is what they try to tell you about the Whips! and Delights, and it’s a lie). But I backed off after starting to pay attention to the ingredient factor. The sugar, the sodium, the artificial flavoring… eh, no thanks. I moved on to Greek yogurt, namely Oikos. That’s the stuff. (Wow, that’s a ridiculously old post.)
The yogurt maker sat untouched through Christmas, New Year’s, and weeks more. It stared me down every time I walked through the kitchen. How dare I bring it home and not show it love? After reading the manual, I was further filled with shame: so easy! Scald milk, let cool, add starter, fill jars, cook! Done! Exclamation! It was settled. Yogurt. Small doubts crept in – would I eat it all? I’m the only one that eats yogurt in the house, you see. Plus side, all for myself, and no bitching if anyone else didn’t like it, because hey – no one else eats it. See? Always a bright side.
I bought Oikos to use as my starter, and Horizon whole milk for the batch. If I’m gonna make this, might as well go all out, right? I says to myself, and agreed. After leaving the milk at Kroger (doh!), but thankfully having relatives who work there and brought it home for me, I was still able to power on. The only complaint of the house was that the milk made the kitchen smell bad; even to my currently too-sensitive sense of smell, it wasn’t really offensive, but I guess it depends on how often you scald dairy in your home (like for crème brûlée, or pâte à choux, or any other French-type thing with funny accent marks).
I decided not to do flavors this time around, just because I wanted to see what kind of yogurt I was dealing with, and I wanted to have something to use as a starter for the next batch. Despite the sharp tang of store-bought yogurt used as a starter, the homemade was mild-flavored, almost sweet – with a bit of Georgia honey and some chopped almonds, it was the perfect breakfast.
(a general guide)
yields 36 oz (approx.)
1 quart milk (whole, 2%, 1%)
1/2 cup yogurt (store-bought or homemade)
flavoring, fruit or other additions, if desired
Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles appear around the edges. Do not boil! Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Add yogurt starter and mix in thoroughly. Pour into jars and process according to your preferred method – via yogurt maker manufacturer’s instructions, in a cooler, or via alternate means. Refrigerate 3-4 hours after processing before consuming. Add flavoring, fruit or other additions after processing (according to Deni manufacturer instructions – opens *.pdf in a new window).