Among my friends, I am (in)famously ignorant of popular culture. I haven’t owned a television in over a decade and I do not listen to pop music on the radio, nor do I read popular culture magazines. I somehow missed out on many of the “iconic” movies of our times. I’m not sure if this is related to my faulty memory or my obsession with the outdoors. Maybe both.
I like to tell them that I am like milk before yoghurt: uncultured. No?
Well, I think I’m hilarious.
Anyway, it is very easy to make your own yoghurt. Have you tried it? It really is a very worthwhile endeavour. Here are some of the things I have tried, some of the things that have failed, and some of my tips for making great homemade yoghurt. It makes you seem a little more cultured.
What do you need to make yoghurt? Well, milk! And maybe a tablespoon of…yoghurt (or yoghurt culture). This is symbiosis at its finest, my friends.
You can use any kind of milk: whole, skim, or milk from a powder, but I can tell you that the best is whole milk. Especially whole milk with 1/3 cup of dry milk powder added.
Bring the milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously. Then take it off the heat and let it cool to about 32 C (~90 F). At this point, add either your yoghurt or yoghurt culture and mix well.
At this point, you need to incubate the culture at about 32 – 37 C (90 – 100 F) for 10-12 hours. There are a couple of different ways of going about this. If your oven has a low/warm setting, you can leave it in there. (but make sure to put a sign on!)
You can also put it in a slow cooker at a low temperature.
Or you could be creative. You could put it in a container sealed tightly and sleep with it under the covers (get to know your friendly Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus salivarius ssp. thermophilus bacteria in a more intimate fashion).
If you’re not culturing it overnight, you could put it in ziploc baggies and tape them under your arms and on other various warm places on your body. Just don’t forget about them and accidentally sit on one, or embrace a family member too tightly.
Orrr…you could go to a second hand shop and pick up one of these 1970′s beauties:
- Old school, baby.
What doesn’t work? Don’t put the culture in when the milk is cold or above 37 C (100 F). Don’t forget to mix well after adding the culture.
I know modern society (culture!) is fat-phobic, but whole milk is really best. And get milk from a dairy farm if you can (if you’re really sneaky, try to find some unpasteurized milk). Unpasteurized cultures work best too.
While you’re waiting for your yoghurt culture, you can culture your brain. Here is some popular culture that my friends have taught me about.
“The Boss” is a nickname for Bruce Springsteen, who is an American singer.
Chuck Norris is really tough for some reason. People like to make up jokes about him being impossibly tough. For example, “Not even Houdini can escape Chuck Norris.” These are referred to as “the facts”.
Charlie Sheen is an American actor who has “Adonis DNA”. (Adonis is the Greek god of beauty and pleasure.)
Done with culture? ME TOO. I have a low tolerance for popular culture. Back to yoghurt.
I’ve had some problems with my yoghurt being a little runny, but if you’re really keen, you can easily make yoghurt cheese by straining it through a cheese cloth (or a double thickness of coffee filter). Yoghurt cheese is also called “strained yoghurt”…it is thick and tangy and creamy.
- Yoghurt cheese with fruit, courtesy of food.com
This is my kind of culture.