Making yogurt at home is not as hard as people might think. As recent as a month ago, my desire to make yogurt was magnified. Why? With inflated prices of yogurt in Hong Kong ranging from $80 – $150 HKD for a litre or less, it can make an everyday staple unaffordable or a ‘luxury’. But it needn’t be this way. In the peak of summer, Hong Kong has the optimum temperature to make yogurt cultures MULTIPLY so there’s absolutely no excuse not to make it, especially seeing as it’s easy peasy! If you can save a few bucks just by spending a few minutes in the kitchen, then you’re winning already.
The 2 ingredients you’ll need are milk and store bought yogurt with live cultures – L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei. Buy organic if possible. I used Clover Organic Skim Milk and Yeo Valley Natural yogurt that are readily available from your local Park N Shop, Wellcome or HK’s gourmet grocery stores City Super, Oliver’s or Great Food Hall. You can substitute the yogurt with a Probiotic yogurt starter available at Just Green. For the purpose of this recipe, I’ve chosen to use store bought yogurt.
You’ll be so proud once you’ve made your own yogurt and I promise you, the only difficulty you’ll have is thinking about what kind of goodies you’re going to top it with! Enjoy 🙂
Prep Time: 2 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins | Total Time: 6 – 12 hours including cooling and incubating time |
Makes: 1 litre | Ingredients: 1 L milk +2 tbs yogurt
1. Pour the litre of milk in a heavy based pot and bring it to almost boiling point over medium heat. If you have a thermometer, the heat shouldn’t go beyond 82C (180F). Remove from heat.
2. Cover pot with lid and allow to cool for 15 – 30 minutes or to around 43C (110F). The milk should still be hot to the touch but not burning. If you can keep your fingertip in the milk for 10 seconds, then it’s at the right temperature.
3. While the milk is cooling, pre-heat your oven to its lowest temperature, around 43C (110F). Turn oven off once it reaches this point.
4. Add your live culture yogurt to the milk and stir to combine.
5. Pour the mixture in 1 or 2 mason jars, recycled jars or container. Secure with the lid.
6. Place jars in the oven and allow incubation for 6 – 12 hours. The longer you allow it to congeal, the more tart it gets.
7. Check your yogurt has set within the specified times and to your liking then refrigerate…or eat straight away!
- If you’ve ever made a Pavlova, you’ll know that it pretty much needs a DO NOT DISTURB sign when it’s in the oven. The same goes for making yogurt. I suggest making it just before bedtime so the cultures can multiply undisturbed (and you get to have fresh yogurt the very next morning – bonus!)
- You can pretty much use any type of milk you want – low fat, full fat, homogenised, un-homogenised, UHT etc. I’ve tried most of them and they all work.
- If the milk accidentally boils over, it’s ok, you can still use it. The only reason it’s suggested to stick within the 82C mark is to ensure it doesn’t boil over your pot. It’s happened to me a few times (I’m clearly a very busy person ;)) but I still managed to make yogurt.
- Other recipes suggest to maintain the temperature of your incubator/yogurt maker/oven to around 43C but seeing as it’s so warm in Hong Kong, I feel there is no need. Obviously, this will change during the cooler months.
- To make Greek yogurt, which has a thicker consistency, line a bowl with muslin or cheesecloth secured by a rubber band. Allow for space between the bottom of the bowl and muslin then pour yogurt mixture in. Drain for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. Refrigerate Greek yogurt. Liquid whey will be at the bottom of the bowl. Use this in your smoothies, shakes, cooking or baking.
- Top your yogurt with fresh fruit, honey, nuts, oats or granola, use in smoothies or baking.
- Save a couple of tablespoons of homemade yogurt to use as a starter for your next batch. You can only use the same batch for around 5 times. After that it might start to taste funny or the cultures have weakened.