Yogurt..I wondered if I could make it without all of the gadgets, making it the old fashion way. Let’s face it, back in 1500 BC they weren’t making yogurt with electric yogurt makers.
I remembered my mother making it back in the seventies and I recalled the taste being much milder than the store-bought brands.
We know it is good for us, even ancient Indian records mention the combination of yogurt and honey, calling the two, “the food of the gods”, and Persian traditions hold that “Abraham owed his fecundity and longevity to the regular ingestion of yogurt”.
So I kept it simple and took 4 cups of organic 2% milk, heated it in a saucepan until it reached 180 degrees fahrenheit and then let it cool until it was warm to the touch. I then added 1/3 cup of plain yogurt with live bacteria, gave it a good whisk and then poured it into clean French canning jars.
I placed the jars into the barely warm oven* (the heat from the pilot light was enough) and let it culture for 5 hours. I chilled it in the fridge overnight and then this morning, voila, lovely yogurt that I scooped on top of my Bob’s Red Mill muesli, adding some freshly cut plums, lemon zest and a drizzle of local honey over it all.
* If you have an electric oven, while the milk is cooling, heat the oven to the lowest setting for a two or three minutes. The temperature should be warm but not hot. If it seems too hot, leave the door open for a few minutes. Place the yogurt in the oven, close the door and check back in 4 hours. If it is cool in the oven at that point, take the yogurt out, heat it up again and then place the yogurt back inside the oven for a couple more hours.