YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING ITEMS
- A yoghurt maker, or a jar large enough to hold one litre of milk.
- A stainless steel pot, or glass jug if planning to heat the milk in a microwave.
- Dairy thermometer.
- An esky to put the jar in, or a blanket and a warm spot if you do not have a yoghurt maker.
- 1.5 cups of whole almonds (or 1 litre Almond Milk)
- 1-2 tablespoons of a sugar, (to act as food for the culture)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons of Classic Pectin
- 1 dose of Yoghurt Starter Culture
(100 doses per sachet of culture)
Note: The amount of culture used for one litre is VERY SMALL.
- Soak your almond nuts overnight in chlorine free water.
- Drain and rinse the almonds.
- Blend the almonds with three and a half cups of chlorine free water, on high-speed for about three minutes.
- Use a jelly strainer or tight weave cheese making cloth to strain out the pulp, squeezing the last of the milk out is OK.
- Heat treat your milk to 90° C for ten minutes, stirring constantly.
- Allow to cool to 40° C, and add the pectin and sugar while whisking vigorously.
- Make sure your mixture is at 40 deg C, and add the culture, and mix in well.
- Maintain the milk mixture between 37° and 43° C for 18-24 hours.
A NOTE ABOUT YOGHURT MAKERS
An electric yoghurt maker will maintain the heat very well, but may creep up in temperature as previously mentioned.
The Electric Yoghurt Maker has been built to maintain the correct temperature range indefinitely.
A thermos style yoghurt maker will have directions on maintaining the heat. The only change required here is that in an EasiYo system for example, you should not fill the external container so high with boiling water, as to have it come in direct contact with the yoghurt container as this may scald, and kill some culture. Just fill it to the level of the hole in the baffle, and this will give you the benefit of a heat reservoir, without risking scalding or killing the culture.
If you do not have a yoghurt maker, then place your jar in an esky and add warm water, but do not have very hot, or boiling water, in direct contact with the jar. You can also wrap your jar in a blanket, and place it in a warm place; on top of the hot water heater works well in my laundry.
CHECKING YOUR YOGHURT
To check if your yoghurt is ready, press a spoon into the surface of the yoghurt and see if the impression of the spoon is left. If so, it is done.
Chill for a few hours, then mix in fruit, jam, or even trail mix, as the yoghurt is served, or eat plain, over homemade apple pie perhaps.
You can also add a probiotic culture if you wish. This must be done at the same time that you add your yoghurt culture.
As with making any fermented milk products, cleanliness is vital in yoghurt making. Make sure that you thoroughly clean and sterilise all your utensils before using them. By heating milk to 40° C and then keeping it at that temperature you are deliberately creating the perfect environment to grow bacteria. Just be sure that you are only growing the bacteria (starter culture) that you have introduced, and not some other bacteria that blew in on the wind.