After a couple of years of making yogurt, I finally feel the groove. I tried all sorts of ways to find that sweet temperature that yogurt cultures need to thrive, finicky little things that they are. I've evolved from mason jars sitting in a little Playmate cooler filled with warm water to using a yogurt warmer that you plug in.
My yogurt "maker" is a Cosmopolitan Yogurt Maker by Salton. I bought it in a thrift shop for $4. I see on eBay it's vintage! What's funny is that for years I was collecting these little white glasses that I thought were antique milk glass, but when I bought the yogurt maker, I found that all along I had been collecting yogurt warmer jars. I still love them, and actually they are more useful to me now. If I ever break one, I have back up. For the record, the Cosmopolitan is a champ, although I do start plug it in when I start heating the milk. It needs some time to warm up, like most things born in the seventies.
I've found that my favorite yogurt is thick and tangy. The texture I like is achieved by whisking a little milk powder in the milk before heating it. The tangy part comes from a long sitting period: 24 hours. I used to always pull the yogurt at 8 hours, until a friend, who makes excellent yogurt, tipped me off. It also firms up a little more, and I hear tell is necessary if you use yogurt as a starter and you don't buy cultures, which is what I do.
Yogurt was on my mind today because, like buttermilk, I start making it again when the temperatures plunge, and I'm back inside. It seems silly, because yogurt seems like such a summertime thing, right? But summer is so busy, I find I have to let go of some things to make room for others. I'm glad to have these things back in my life!
|Yogurt with Cray-pas. Don't you love Cray-pas?|