Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fermenting -Part 1: Homemade Yogurt

I have come to the conclusion, that after many months/year of researching homemade yogurt techniques and recipes, that they are pretty much all the same. Some are super technical and strictly to the book and other recipes are just throwing stuff together and waiting for the natural fermentation process.
I do not own a yogurt maker, and quite frankly, glad I don't. I've made runny yogurt and the super thick shit -both massively tasty and always just right. All are relatively easy once you've got the basics down and I hope my clumsy tutorial helps.

milk, raw milk yogurt starter, quart jars
~non reactive pot -enamel cast iron dutch oven, stainless pot
~food themometer -
~wooden spoon/high heat spatula -I've used both
~2 quart jars with lids-sterilized and prepped
~1/2 gallon milk -I've used everything from 2% to raw, unpasturized whole milk
~yogurt starter -my fave is a plain greek yogurt starter or some leftover yogurt from thelast batch
~dry milk powder -

milk -in this case I used whole raw jersey milk
1. Pour milk into pot and bring to a steady boil. Add powdered milk sometime during this process, I usually do around 160-170*F. I've read it helps thicken it up. Milk should be warmed to 180*F. Turn on oven to 350*F for one minute, turn off and turn on oven light -it shouldn't be 350*F, but more like 100* or less. I like to put the jars of yogurt in the oven for a bit and then move them to a cooler for the night or afternoon.
milk, slowly brought to 180*f
2. Immediately move pot to a sink filled with ice cold water(add ice if needed). Cool milk to 110*F. Drain sink. Pull out a cup or so of the heated milk and stir in the yogurt until dissolved. Approximately 2tbsp. of yogurt starter per 1/2 gallon of milk. Then add milk/yogurt mixture to heated milk and stir to completely mix in the yogurt mixture.
sorry that I don't pictures of this process for some reason
3. Pour your yogurt into the sterilized jars and screw on sterilized lids.
4. Put your jars of yogurt in the oven and cover with a towel. An hour or so later I usually put them in a cooler with the jars wrapped in many towels for 6-8 hours (really, this can be anywhere from 4-24 hours depending on your taste).
5. Pull the jars from the oven/cooler, and take a peek to make sure they have thickened up a bit. Put in the refrigerator for overnight or 8-10 hours, this will help thicken up even more.
6. DONE!

finished product! Your own yogurt
We love to add a bit of sugar (shh...yes, white sugar), brown sugar, honey, granola, jam, or fruit to ours. Yogurt is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and the health benefits have been lauded world wide.

For more information on the benefits of making your own yogurt check out this article on or some of the other books I used for reference over time are listed below.

Look for part 2 of fermenting on in the next couple of days


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

absence of mind

I'm really am feeling a bit of writers block. I think it's more so that my beloved laptop has passed on to the electronics afterworld, then a humanly brain fart though. It isn't to say I haven't been doing stuff around the homestead or coming up with crazy shit in my head. It also doesn't help much that when I take an ambien with a pain pill, I have some messed up dreams and those become my writings. Everything of course, is in pencil and paper form and doesn't make much sense to anyone, but me. Dammit for being a creative, lead smearing lefty.

I'm going to leave you with a post I did a while back on granola within it contains the recipe that I swear by. When I'm feeling an urge to make a major sweet mistake of snack, I just dip my hand into the granola jar for a handful and it's enough to curb. Awesome eh?

No excuses! Granola is incredibly good for you and easy to make. It is versatile, delicious, and completely customizable. My family likes it as a snack and I love it as a cereal too -toss some nanners on it and hmmmmm...

By the way... ugh I hate this text size and color, what the hell happened?

You have some stuff to look forward to. I'm working on a fermenting post that will be in two parts. The first part will be here, and you'll have to catch the second part on when I do my monthly post there on Wednesday, October 27th! Thank you and I bid you adieu - bowing out.