This experiment started in Youtube. I was watching how factories make loaf breads and frozen pizzas then I came across yogurt making.
I love yogurt. I really love yogurt. Started when I was all about healthy stuff, choosing healthier alternatives to the usual bad stuff like ice cream and it grew on me really well. Now I prefer some tartness than the all out sweetness of ice cream.
In Youtube I saw that they use the oven to incubate (you need to incubate the good live bacterias to make yogurt) and I don’t like that because Philippines has power rates higher than Singapore grrr! So I thought why not make it using the slow cooker? I researched about it and yes many people have done it using the slow cooker. So I read some more and I planned about buying some milk and some plain yogurt to start my experiment. I want to go all out with yogurt. I can’t do that with Nestle’s Melon flavored yogurt with Nata de Coco which is my favorite. So expensive! It costs half a liter of milk for a very small container.
Bought the milk and yogurt then I kind of forgot about it. I got so consumed with natural dough conditioners which is for another post. 🙂 Then I remember that the yogurt (to act as my starter) is expiring the same day! So I had to do it then, the last day I can still use it. I again watched the video and read some more. I found many people with many ways of making their yogurt. One who makes use of slow cooker all the way, one who boils the milk then use the oven to incubate and another who boil then pour straight to mason jars placed in a heating pad to incubate. The one who use the slow cooker all the way hmmn let’s just say I don’t like how the yogurt turns out. The oven guy, I don’t prefer to use the oven. The last one, well i don’t have a large enough mason jar to pour all the mixture in to incubate and I also don’t have a heating pad. So make use of what you have right? I get the principle of yogurt making, it’s just to put it in something that retains heat well for the good bacteria to multiply. And I know an appliance that does this very well for my taho or tau huay which needs good heat retention, my ever reliable rice cooker. So I ‘concocted’ my own recipe using everything I know and read.
By the way, I don’t have a thermometer to check the milk temperature, but I braved through it. I felt that I know how hot the milk must be before I can mix in the starter without killing it. I thought hmmmn just like when I bake and I proof the yeast, can’t be too hot or you kill it.
Here’s how I did it. Started this at 1840H.
1. 1 liter Fresh Milk (Can use whole fat milk, but I bought 2%, healthier) 🙂
2. plain yogurt (small cup with LIVE CULTURES)
3. 1/3 cup non fat milk powder
Boil 1-2 liters of water. This is to clean all the utensils you’ll be using to make sure that only the good bacteria will multiply and not the bad stuff. I poured the boiling water in the inner pot of the rice cooker and let it cool down. Same with everything that touches that milk mixture.
Step 1. In a large enough pot, medium heat, bring the milk into an ALMOST boil while constantly stirring. You’ll see change in color and consistency. make sure to stir to prevent burning.
Step 2. To cool the pot of milk as fast as possible (I’m not good at waiting) I took a small basin (palangganita) filled with tap water and let my hot pot sit there until the water is hot as well. Then replenish with another batch of ‘cold’ tap water. Repeat up to 3 times . Do this process until the milk is warm and you can dip the tip of your finger for 6 seconds and you don’t get burned that you need to take your finger out asap. 😉
3. I took the rice cooker pot and pour half of the warm (around 115 degrees or to make it simple just lukewarm) milk. Using a wire whisk I dissolved the milk powder in it.
Next was the yogurt starter, make sure there are no lumps left.
Then I added the remaining milk from the pot to the rice cooker. Stir again to make sure everything’s mixed well.
4. Cover with towels. (I added another thick towel over this, didn’t take a picture.) This is to assist in heat retention. Since I don’t have a thermometer, I do everything by touch. I keep on touching the rice cooker to feel if it’s warm enough. Because I didn’t feel it was warm enough, I plugged in the rice cooker for 3 minutes in the warm setting. Then 30 minutes later I checked again and plugged it again for 2 minutes, and another 20 minutes I again plugged it for another 2 minutes. Then I slept for the night.
Checked the rice cooker at 0800H. A bit more than 13 hours of incubation time. (Perfectly tangy, decrease incubation time if you want it less sour. I’ve made 3 more batches since and I’ve tried incubating only for 4 hours and another for 6 and another using powdered milk.
Consistency should be like this. If you prefer Greek yogurt, get a cheese cloth and let the yogurt drain for at least 45 minutes or until the desired thickness. The liquid is called whey. Everything about this yogurt is healthy so don’t throw away anything.
I used this small bottles which I made sure to be really clean by boiling them. Bought a lot because they’re very inexpensive like 14 pcs per dollar (US). Now every time we want to eat some, we just get a small bottle. 🙂
Chill for a few hours then EAT. YUM.
You can use fresh fruits, jams or honey, crushed graham crackers or my favorite rice krispies to flavor your homemade yogurt. Mommy isn’t very fond of sour stuff so she needs the honey. I read that homemade yogurts can be stored in the fridge for a week or two. Any remaining yogurt can be used as face mask or a scrubbing cream. Makes your skin really soft. Like a baby’s bum. 🙂
Next on my list: FROZEN YOGURT!