Home » Food News » Book Reviews » Cookbooks » Making Homemade Yogurt Has Never Been Easier

Making Homemade Yogurt Has Never Been Easier

Yogurt Container by Josep Lluis Caldentey

I was attracted to the book, French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mirielle Guiliano, not because I wanted to diet (no thanks!), but because I sincerely wanted to re-affirm what I already felt to be true about healthy eating. In it, she describes the benefits of eating yogurt and how to make it both the old-fashioned way and with an electronic yogurt maker. (p. 148-153)

(As an important side note, I need to mention the fact that Ms. Guiliano advocates drinking wine, which is absolutely not halal, therefore I do not advocate nor condone that part of the book)  

It was my belief that not only French, but most European, Asian, South Asian, and more–don’t get fat, at least not like we do here. I have been in Europe, North Africa, Mexico and Central America and have never seen the severe obesity problem we have in this country. However, I fear that with the export of processed foods, fast food chains and chemically-treated and preserved foods, we are severely-and perhaps permanently-damaging the dietary habits of other global culinary traditons. Needless to say, that’s another topic in itself to discuss somewhere else.

Today’s post is to demonstrate how easy it is to make yogurt at home. I have tried it the old-fashioned way by boiling milk and adding the yogurt culture and letting it sit for hours and hours in my own pots. Sometimes it would work, other times it wouldn’t. I felt very horrible “expirementing” with perfectly good milk when the yogurt would not turn out right; and elated and surprised when it (rarely) did turn out to be yogurt.

As an economical and much less-wasteful solution, I decided to make the investment in an electronic yogurt maker- a Donvier brand, as suggested by Mirielle Guiliano in her book. A variety of yogurt makers are available online at Amazon.com for between $30-60 plus shipping. Just type in “yogurt makers”.

Let’s get to the process so you can see how easy it is to do:

1. Get yourself any electronic yogurt maker!  Donvier makes excellent ones. 

2. Boil the milk for at least 20 minutes, or until you see the bubbly foam at the top. Immediately turn off heat and remove any film collected at the top.

3. Use a thermometer to continuously check the temperature of the milk. It should be between 110-115 degrees F when you add the yogurt culture. At this point, if you are using a Donvier or similar type of yogurt maker, you will need 1 TB. of plain yogurt (at room temperature). I like to use whole milk plain yogurt only because the result is smooth, thick and creamy. The best yogurt for starter (in my opinion) is Stonyfield Farm Yogurt. It is organic, as well. Mix the 1 TB. of yogurt with one plastic container of milk (this should come with your yogurt maker). Pour this mixture back into your pot of boiled milk.

4.  Stir this mixture very well so that there are no clumps of yogurt throughout the boiled milk.

5. Next, pour this mixture into each of the plastic glasses that comes with your yogurt maker and use the caps to cover. My Donvier comes with 8 plastic glasses and caps.

6. Set the electric time for 10 hours. The red light (of a Donvier) should indicate that it is “on”. Do not open any of the glasses during this entire time, as it may tamper with the delicate process of cultivating the yogurt.

7. At the 10 hour mark, your yogurt maker should indicate with a beep that it is ready to be shut off. Do not keep the yogurt on longer than this. Each glass should be immediately stored in the refrigerator.

The great thing about this is that you can enjoy the yogurt plain or add fruit, nuts and/or honey to your liking– all without any preservatives or unhealthy elements like high fructose corn syrup (yes, some commercial brands DO contain it!). Additionally, some commercial brands may contain gelatin (pork or beef-derived) as a gelling agent.

Bismillah and Bon Appetit!

11 comments

  1. I found this page just as I was looking for information to send to friends on how to make yogurt using a Donvier yogurt maker. I received a Donvier yogurt maker for Christmas and have not eaten commercial yogurt since. I make yogurt twice a week and the actual time involved in doing making the yogurt–not waiting for the milk to heat up or cool down–is less than 10 minutes. This is really easy!

    Here are some tips that I’ve discovered:
    *I use 2% as any milk with less fat than this will not set up. If you want to use non fat or 1 %, add 1/2 cup of dried milk when you first heat up the milk.
    *Sometimes for no good reason, the yogurt separates a bit to leave a waterywhey on top. I drain this off leaving a thick yogurt and add the whey, which is rich in good stuff for us, to a smoothie.
    *I received a small container of dried yogurt starter with my yogurt maker. 1/8 t is all that is needed for 1 qt. of milk so this lasts a long time. You can also buy commercial yogurt to use as starter. By freezing the commercial yogurt in ice cube trays (and then putting in a freezer bag), you’ll have enough yogurt for starter for months. Just thaw before adding to the hot milk.
    *I heat the milk to 180 degrees stirring a couple of times to prevent sticking or skim forming. This usually takes less than 10 minutes.
    *The Donvier yogurt maker comes with a thermometer that has marks showing where the temperature should be when the yogurt has cooled enough to add the starter. The thermometer has the words “add starter” written and if you don’t have another thermometer to use to check to see if the milk reaches 180 degrees, when the temperature level rises to between the “e” and “r” in the word starter, you’ve reached 180 degrees.
    *The quality of homemake yogurt is really outstanding. I’ve become much more creative with plain yogurt using it in dressings and toppings. Greek yogurt is easy to make: Just pour some yogurt into a cheese cloth lined strainer, place the strainer over a bowl and let stand for a few hours (or in the refrigerator over night).
    *Be creative with the flavors you add to the yogurt! My two favorites to add to yogurt are a splash of almond extract and dried orange peel (Penzey’s) and
    tart cherry juice concentrate. I always add flavorings after I’ve made the yogurt.
    *My community does not recycle yogurt containers so by making my own, I am saving a fair amount of plastic going into our landfill. The Donvier yogurt maker does include plastic yogurt cups but I’ve reused mine over and over.

    People are surprised when I say that I make yogurt but it is so easy and so good that even I’m surprised. This was an excellent gift!

  2. Thank you for sharing those tips with us, Karen. I’m always open to doing things easier and better and I’m sure readers will also benefit from your helpful insight. Please visit us again!
    Yvonne

  3. thanks…i have always wondered if the yoghurt machine is a good buy…i am going to look into investing in one. it would also be healthier than the ready mades with all the preservatives…thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>