recipe was kindly given to us by Bob and Carol Ahlers on TIME ENOUGH.
It makes a delicious, pourable yogurt that's wonderful on all
sorts of things. And it's really good for you! It's unlike
most yogurt you buy in a typical grocery store; that stuff usually has
weird things like xanthan gum or agar in it to make it thick. If
you like your yogurt gelatinous instead of milkshake consistency, you
can add a little bit of unflavored gelatin once your yogurt's all set
up. But we like it just the way it is.
First, come up with some way that you can incubate your yogurt at a consistently lukewarm temperature. We
liter-sized insulated thermos bottle and place it in a not-too-hot,
not-too-cold corner of the galley. If you don't have a thermos,
you could wrap towels and blankets around your pot to keep it warm,
stash it in one of those hot/cold bags, or maybe keep it in a closed
oven that has a pilot light. You'll have to experiment, or just
go buy a thermos. If you eat a lot of yogurt, your thermos will
pay for itself quickly.
Make sure your containers and any utensils you use are absolutely squeaky clean before you start.
3 cups water mixed with 1.5 cups of good quality powdered milk
3 cups of milk
2 tbs of plain, fresh, unsweetened yogurt
Stirring constantly, heat your milk slowly until it almost
simmers - look for small foamy bubbles around the edge of the pot.
When you see the bubbles, remove your pot from the burner and
let it cool to wrist temperature (about 105-112 degrees). Stir the 2
tbs of yogurt into the cooled milk, and then incubate your mixture for
6 to 8 hours.
So how can you start off with two tablespoons of yogurt and end up with
3 cups? What's happening during the incubation period is a little
like what happens when bread dough rises. Your starter culture of
yogurt (the two tablespoons) contains lots of different bacteria (the
beneficial kind), and when you give the little beasties all that yummy
milk to roam through, they feast on the sugar that's present (called
lactose) and rapidly multiply. It's important to make sure that
the milk has cooled down enough before adding your starter culture,
since high temperatures will only kill them. If the milk's too
cool, the bacteria will still grow, but at a slower rate.
If your first attempt doesn't quite work, review the essentials again:
spotless containers and utensils, a good starter culture of
yogurt, and a consistently nice temperature that's not too hot.
It may take a couple of tries to get everything right. Once
you've got the hang of it, and you always make sure to have at least 2
tbs on hand, theoretically you never need to buy yogurt again, just