I like to prepare the mixture early in the morning (before work), allow it to rest and culture during the day, then place it in the refrigerator to chill overnight, ready for the next day.
Making your own yoghurt is very simple and economical. The main resource required is time – you just need to think ahead.
- 2 litres (68 oz/8 cups) full cream milk
- 160 g (5½ oz/⅔ cup) plain (natural or Greek-style) unsweetened yoghurt with live cultures
To serve (optional)
- passionfruit pulp
- edible flowers
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 6-8 hrs
Cooling time: 2 hrs
Pour the milk into a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and heat the milk to 85°C (185°F), whisking often to ensure even heating and prevent scorching on the base of the pan.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool to 45°C (113°F), whisking occasionally. To bring the temperature down, half- fill your kitchen sink with cold water and stand the pot in the sink. When the milk reaches 45°C (113°F), transfer 250 ml (8½ oz/1 cup) to a mixing bowl. Add the yoghurt (this is your ‘starter’) and whisk well until combined. Return this mixture to the milk in the saucepan and whisk gently until combined.
Pour into two 1 litre (34 oz/4 cup) sterilised jars. Cover loosely (but do not seal), wrap each jar with a clean kitchen towel and then in clean bath towels to maintain the temperature for as long as possible. Place in a safe, preferably warm, place and leave for 6–8 hours, until thickened and soured to your liking. Seal the jars and refrigerate for 3–4 hours until well chilled. Use within 7 days.
If you like, serve with passionfruit pulp and edible flowers, or use wherever natural yoghurt is called for in any recipe.
• The longer you leave the yoghurt to culture and set, the more sour it will become (to a certain point, when all the milk sugars are converted to lactic acid). It can take a bit of trial and error to get the flavour just as you like it.
• For thicker yoghurt, add a couple of tablespoons of skim (or whole) milk powder to the milk when you heat it.
•You can reuse your homemade yoghurt as the starter 3–4 times before it will get ‘tired’ and the flavour will change.
This recipe is from Breakfast Bowls (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.