difficulty level: Rrrrgh . . . . Burns . . . .
my biological mother once said she used to make this in college when she was really poor. it certainly is cheep but i wanted to try it just for the experience and the fact that most homemade food is way better then store bought. i also have a thing for living food that keeps replenishing itself but have never gotten the hang of sourdough. i'll try that again at another time. i found a recipe on zaar for it that came highly recommended and was really easy so off we go. basically you just heat up milk, add a little bit of yogurt to start it off, and keep it warm for a few hours. THAT'S IT. the healthy bacteria grows and thickens and flavors and then you let it chill overnight and you have breakfast! i used one liter of whole milk, heated to just below boiling, let it cool down till i could touch it without burning myself, then added 1/4 cup of yogurt, wrapped it in a towel and put it in the (turned off) oven for some 6 hours. the recipe called for 3-4 hours but lots of reviews said longer=thicker so i went with it. i probably should have put it into it's final container when i mixed instead of putting in a plastic bowl to warm (thicken? cure? grow? whatever.) and then transferring to a smaller container with a lid to put it in the fridge. i've heard jostling it too much makes it form curds and i did get a bit of that but they stir back in just fine. paradoxically, i've heard adding LESS yogurt makes for a thicker result. maybe because the bacteria are more active when they have more room to grow? i'll try with two Tbs next time and see how it goes. overall though i have to agree that this does make a much better yogurt then store bought. it's thicker, creamier, and more mellow (less "sourness"). and best of all, i now don't have to buy any more. i can just use a spoonful or two of this batch to make the next one! i had some with blueberries, granola, and honey for breakfast yesterday and it was GREAT. i even used some in my henna hair dye and i'm going to look into making frozen yogurt treats :)