Yoghurt is a staple in our house, and most weeks we will go through 2-3kg between the four of us, which becomes costly, spending at least $15 per week on yoghurt alone. So, late last year, I decided to purchase a yoghurt maker, it was around $50 and to make 1kg costs about $1.50 plus electricity, so it has already paid itself off.
The yoghurt maker I bought was this one from Little Green Workshops, a company based in Queensland. A yoghurt maker is pretty much just a temperature controlled vessel, and is designed to keep the yoghurt at a set temperature for the culture to develop for a period of time. You could do this without a yoghurt maker and use an oven or similar, but a yoghurt maker is much easier.
The ingredients are simple, milk and starter culture. You can use any type of milk you like, but so far I have only used full cream milk, but from what I have read, coconut milk makes a really good coconut yoghurt if you have issues with dairy or are vegan. You can buy starter culture or you can use a bought yoghurt that contains culture or use some of the previous batch, which is what I do. I have a designated jar that I put ~1/2 a cup of yoghurt into as soon as it is made and store it in the fridge for the next batch. This minimises any contamination from spoons being dipped in and out of the tub.
Getting a nice thick yoghurt can take a bit of practise. A lot of recipes will say to add in 1/2 cup of milk powder per batch to thicken it up, which works, but I prefer the taste without the milk powder (as do the kids). Another option is to strain the yoghurt through a tea towel or muslin. This allows the whey to strain out, leaving a thicker yoghurt, which is how Greek style yoghurt is made. I usually only strain it for 5-10 minutes, but if you want a really thick yoghurt, strain it for longer. I have used the strained whey in bread and it makes no difference to the loaf, just adds a bit more protein.
Each batch I make is ~2kg. I will divide this into 2 x 1kg tubs, one which is left as natural yoghurt for cooking and for the kids, and then the other tub has some flavour added to it. The flavour can be anything you like, but my go to flavours are raspberry, apple and cinnamon, mixed berry or vanilla bean.
If you have considered purchasing a yoghurt maker, I highly recommend it, you will not only save money, you will also realise how easy it is to make yoghurt just as you like it.
- 2L full cream milk (or other milk)
- 1/2 cup bought yoghurt or yoghurt from a previous batch
Apple and Cinnamon Flavour (per kg)
- 1/2 cup stewed apples
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Raspberry/Mixed Berry (per kg)
- 1/2 cup fresh/frozen berries
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup
Vanilla Bean (per kg)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tbs pure maple syrup
- Pour milk into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. Using a digital thermometer, bring the temperature to 88°C.
- Carefully pour the hot milk into a large bowl. Place the bowl into a sink full of cold water to cool the milk down. Using a digital thermometer, reduce the temperature to below 43°C.
- Once cooled, pour the milk into the yoghurt maker, along with 1/2 cup starter and stir gently to combine. Place the lids on the yoghurt maker, turn on and leave for 8-12 hours.
- Remove from the yoghurt maker and immediately scoop out ~1/2 a cup of yoghurt and place into a sterilised glass jar to use as starter for the following batch. Refrigerate starter and yoghurt.
- Once cool, if you would like to increase the consistency of the yoghurt, place a tea towel or muslin cloth over a colander and place the colander in a bowl. Pour the yoghurt into the cloth and allow to strain until desired consistency is reached. Place into tubs, flavour as desired and refrigerate until ready to eat.
- Apple and Cinnamon Flavour: Using a stick mixer, blend the stewed apples and cinnamon to a puree. Mix through the yoghurt
- Raspberry/Mixed Berry Flavour: Using a stick mixer, blend the berries (if using frozen, allow to defrost) and maple syrup to a coulis and mix through the yoghurt. Add more maple syrup if desired.
- Vanilla Bean Flavour: Place the vanilla bean paste and maple syrup into a bowl and mix well to combine, then mix through the yoghurt.