Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homemade yogurt

Yogurt contains the helpful bacteria. Making yogurt at home is the most easiest and least expensive way. Yogurt is made by inoculating the bacteria into the milk, called as starter culture. The milk is incubated overnite or until it is firm. You only need to get the starter. The culture/ Starter is available at all leading grocery stores. Just make sure the label indicates "live culture" on it. Home made yogurt is the best healthy option, because it is freshly prepared and free from additives.

Commercial yogurt:  The commercial yogurts are pasturized and may contain additives, artificial sweetners, stabilizers such as cornstarch, pectin, gelatin and other phosphates. Commercial yogurt is available in 3 types:
regular-3.5% M.F yogurt made with whole milk,
low-fat - yogurt made with 2%M.F and
skimmed milk yogurt- made with fat free milk.
Fruit flavoured and Organic yogurt is also avialable in the market.

Homemade yogurt

Milk   - 1 ltr
Starter culture - 2 tsp


Bring milk to boil, set aside and allow it to cool. The temperature of the milk should be warm enough .(Temp test: If you dip your little finger it should feel warm. It should not burn your finger or it should not feel like room temp) Warm milk helps the bacteria to multiply quickly. Boiling the milk changes it's properties and gives the yogurt a firmer body and texture. Put the starter culture into the warm milk. Mix well but gently. Cover with couple of towels to maintain an even temperature. Keep covered at room temperature for over night. Starter mixed Milk bowl can be kept warm in the oven with light bulb switched ON. Maintaining the temperature helps rapid coagulation. Do not stir or disturb or shake the yogurt during the incubation period. The next day morning you will see a nice , firmer, thicker, and dense yogurt made by you! Refrigerate and serve chilled. Refrigerated yogurt can be good for a week or two.

Storage tip: Yogurt is a fresh dairy product, must be stored in the refrigerator.

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