Counter-top Yogurt

I am so excited to share this with you.

I recently purchased a yogurt starter from Cultures for Health. I needed something a little easier and more foolproof for making yogurt.

Previously, I would make yogurt using a little plain yogurt from the grocery store and my dehydrator. I have a drum shaped dehydrator that I rigged with cardboard walls. I put a warm glass of water with a candy thermometer in it so I could adjust the temperature dial to keep the water at 115° F. Once that was set, I put in two quart jars of pasteurized goat’s milk that had been cooled to 115° F and inoculated with my grocery store starter. Then I would incubate that for 12 hours or so.

Using plain yogurt from the grocery store doesn’t always work. Some brands of yogurt yield a better product than others. Some of them don’t work at all. I know you need to always buy the kind that is plain and says it has active bacteria but that doesn’t guarantee success. After a couple of yogurt fails, I was ready to actually spend money to make my life easier.

I had read about the Viili strain of yogurt from Finland and knew that was the one I wanted to try. It is incubated at a room temperature range that is found in the common household. I knew that would also allow me to easily always have yogurt on hand. My only concern was that I really like a tart yogurt. The description of Viili was that it was a mild yogurt.

My purchase arrived last week on Friday. I was so excited that I found time to pasteurize some milk and get it cooled and inoculated before leaving for my son’s soccer game in the morning on Saturday.

I was going to leave it out on the counter like I had planned but at the last minute I put it up in a cupboard I have above the sink that has a light in it. The light bulb is not a traditional one but rather one of those energy-efficient fluorescent ones. I thought it would provide a few extra degrees of heat because I let my house cool down to 65° F during the day.

I checked the yogurt when we got home but there appeared to be nothing happening. I found the same result the next morning. I knew it could take up to 48 hours to activate the starter so I tried not to worry. I also made myself take a temperature reading. I couldn’t imagine that the temperature wouldn’t be between 70-77° F up in that cupboard but I needed to be sure. I was surprised to find that it was only 60° F! So, out it came and on to my counter it went. If it wasn’t going to work there then I wasn’t going to do it.

I was thrilled to find a very happy and thick yogurt in the glass the next morning.

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I tasted it and was very happy with the flavor. It was plenty tart enough for me. I immediately started another batch. This one, was left out on the counter the whole time.

Once again, the next morning, thick and lovely yogurt was waiting for me. YESSSSSSSSSSS!

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So, my breakfast was granola, yogurt and a little raspberry jam. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

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So perfect 🙂

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