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More Yogurt

Last week’s batch was a quart of whole milk and a pint of half-and-half. It yielded 5 six-ounce servings. This week I just bought a half-gallon of whole milk, and a tin of plain Market Basket yogurt for the culture. There was no Stonyfield Farms plain yogurt to be had, at least at that store, and I wasn’t going to make a special stop.

Saturday night I slowly brought the milk to a boil. Rats! I turned my back for a second to get the culture yogurt out of the fridge and it boiled over, ever-so-slightly. But still a mess to clean up.

In an ice bath, again, I cooled the milk down to about 108°F, stirred in the culture, and poured it all into an insulated container, where it sat overnight.

The next morning I washed out my muslin sieve again, but this time, instead of just putting it in a colander, I hung it from one of the cabinet knobs, and let it drain for about three hours. OK, I sort of lost track of time.

The resulting yogurt was really thick, because a quart of whey had drained off. You do the math – I ended up with 5 six-ounce servings. I picked up a gallon size insulated container at WalMart later that day. Next week I’m going big-time!

(Oh, and the Market Basket yogurt seems OK as a starter culture. I hated changing two variables at once, but those are the breaks of Science, I guess).

(Monday August 25 update)

I made another batch over the weekend, using my new 1-gallon container. I think it’s made by RubberMaid, and cost all of $5. Once again I had to change my culture yogurt because Market Basket can’t seem to maintain a consistent supply of everything. I don’t know – maybe the yogurt market is in deep flux… But a gallon of Market Basket whole milk ($2.99) and a tin of Dannon plain yogurt ($0.50) was the extent of my expenditure. I used the new Martha Stewart pan that Mrs. purchased at Macy’s the other day. It’s stainless, and has a pretty heavy bottom on it, but it was a trick to bring that whole gallon of milk to a boil without scorching. (I scorched). But an ice bath brought the hot milk down to 115°F in a few minutes. I mixed in the Dannon yogurt, poured it all into the bucket, and screwed the lid on for the overnight.

I got up at 7 the next morning, washed the muslin, put it in a colander which was apparently just 1 gallon in size, and tied it off to let it drain for about three hours while I went and helped with the local highway beautification project with my radio club. I got back about three hours later, and packed the yogurt up in nice little plastic lidded GladWare cups. Even though it was scorched, just a little, the yogurt is pretty good. Next week I’ll try not to scorch it!

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