|My home-made Greek-style yoghurt with Turkish
raw almonds and honey.
As I've mentioned on this blog before, I'm smitten by Greek yoghurt because it's such a versatile and interesting ingredient. It's a good substitute for cream, a brilliant tenderising agent, and packed with protein, calcium and gut-friendly probiotics. I use this yoghurt in marinades, dips, salad dressings, sauces, stews, soups and ice creams.
If you're following a low-carb or diabetic regime, you can use this ingredient with confidence in your kitchen.
|This recipe makes three to four jars of thick natural yoghurt.|
You can make this with ordinary homogenised supermarket milk alone, but you will end up with a rather thin and meek yoghurt. Please trust me when I recommend that you add instant milk powder to thicken and enrich the yoghurt, plus a modest half-cup of cream for taste and a silky texture.
In the recipe below, I've given instructions for heating the milk in a microwave oven. I do this to save on washing up, because this method uses just one big plastic or glass bowl. If you don't fancy microwaving, you can heat the milk in a pan and then transfer it to a bowl.
I've tested this recipe umpteen times using a variety of starter cultures. Any natural Greek-style yoghurt from your supermarket will do for your first batch; I suggest you experiment with different cultures (mixing and matching them if necessary) until you are satisfied with the taste and texture. I have had the best results from Woolies Double Cream Greek Yoghurt and Buffalo Ridge's yoghurt, and I have mixed them up over the months to create my own culture.
This recipe is quite forgiving as regards its temperature when you add the culture. I've added the culture when the milk is just above blood temperature, and I've added it when it's still quite hot, and there has been no discernible change in the outcome.
Although this is an easy recipe, I've written detailed instructions below so your yoghurt turns out perfectly every time.
Thick & Creamy Greek-Style Yoghurt
1 litre full-cream milk
½ cup (125 ml) dried instant skim-milk powder
½ cup (125 ml) cream
5 Tbsp (75 ml) Greek-style yoghurt (this is the starter culture)
Place the milk, milk powder and cream in a microwave-safe plastic or glass bowl, whisk lightly to combine and microwave on high for about 8-10 minutes, or until the milk is just below scalding point. (Alternatively, gently heat the mixture in a pan: when it's seething and just below the boil, remove it from the heat. Now pour the milk into a plastic or glass bowl. )
Set the mixture aside to cool for about 25 minutes. To help prevent a skin forming, cover it tightly with clingfilm, or press a sheet of clingfilm to its surface.
When the mixture has cooled to the right temperature, it's time to add the culture. Here's my method of judging when the temperature is right: stick your index finger into the milk. Count slowly up to six: if you can bearably hold your finger in the milk to that count, without it burning, it's ready. Scoop out about half a cup of hot milk, place it in a little bowl and whisk in the Greek yoghurt starter culture. Gently trickle this mixture back into the bowl and give it one more very gentle stir.
Replace the clingfilm and wrap the bowl in a thick woolly blanket that you've folded in half or into quarters.
Set aside for six hours - or overnight if you like - without unwrapping, shaking or disturbing the yoghurt. When you open and remove the blanket, the yoghurt will have set to a beautiful wobbliness. Give it a light stir with a balloon whisk, replace the clingfilm and leave the bowl on your kitchen counter to cool to room temperature. Decant the yoghurt into glass jars - or lidded plastic containers - and refrigerate.
Keeps for up to ten days in the fridge.
Makes 4 x 250 ml jars.