Yoplait - it's French for beeping frustrated!

On the weekend, I tried to make yoghurt. Note the use of the word tried. The olde yoghurt definitely wasn't a success. I followed the Jamie Oliver recipe, which says to bring a litre of milk to the boil, let cool to room temp, then stir in 1/2 litre of yoghurt. Let it sit around for 6 - 8 hours then hey presto! Yoghurt!

Except, not. I got watery, milky, yoghurty smelling sludge.

Not to be deterred, I did some research. According to Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, you only need to mix a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt into the litre of milk. Confused? Moi aussi. Shouldn't my 1/2 litre of yoghurt guaranteed that I would end up with yoghurt, when normally only a mere few tablespoons usually do the trick? How hard can this possibly be, if shepherds tooling around with storing milk in goat bladders could come up with yoghurt? Is that the secret - a goat bladder?

Gah! Tearing of hair! Does anybody have any sure fire yoghurt tips? Purlease, help!

Anonymous –   – (12:26 pm)  

Have you tried the easiyo system? Yummy. Just a sachet & water, in a container that you use over & over again = reasonably environmentally friendly. Coles & Kmart have the system.

Cookie  – (12:47 pm)  

The trick is to make sure you don't completely cool the milk - about 40C (use a sugar thermometer)- then add 1/4 cup yoghurt to your 1L of milk, THEN keep the yoghurt in a warm place, eg. oven with the door open, or the best is pour it straight into a flask. Then it can take up to 8 hours to glugg up. If you have the patience to wait this long, you should get the gluggy-yog you're after - then put it in the fridge. Hope this helps!

Erin –   – (1:38 pm)  

Another vote for Easiyo - haven't used it myself, but my friend swears by it. I can vouch for the yoghurt itself - I tasted some and it was prefect in both flavour and consistency. She adds a little vanilla essence, tiny bit of sugar and some fresh fruit for her kids.

I think it retails for around $20-$30 with sachets etc. So it's pretty cheap.

crafty  – (2:16 pm)  

I've made some very good thick creamy yoghurt, just leave out a glass of milk all day on a warm day.

Actually I'm sure it was the real thing, but since it was accidental I was too chicken to taste it!

I've also heard that the easiyo is very good.

I think there is also a method using a thermos.

MissK  – (2:22 pm)  

I remember my mother used to mix the ingredients in a cotton or muslin bag,then when it's cooling for thiose hours she would put it in a big pot,close the lid and cover the pot in blankets.

Frogdancer  – (4:02 pm)  

I use an easiyo container and sachets, but I get at least 6kgs of yoghurt from each sachet. It's beautiful, thick yoghurt; one of the other women at work calls it my 'face cream' as she watches me eat. (Not because I end up with it all over my face.)I use the vanilla one the most.

Prepare the Easiyo container as per usual. In the inner container put cold tap water to about half way up.
Add 2 tablespoons easiyo starter.
I +1/3 cups full cream skim milk.
1/3 cup sugar.
Shake it for a bit until the sugar dissolves.
Then fill it up with cold tap water, put it in the Easiyo thermos (filled with boiling water as per the instructions that it comes with), screw the lid on and leave for about 14 hours.
Goodie goodie yum yum.

No mucking around with thermometers and stuff. Who's got time for that???

If you want to cut down on fat content, substitute 1/3 cup of the full cream powder for skim milk powder. Don't do more than that, otherwise it gets too runny.

I got this from the Simple Savings website, to give credit where credit is due. (www.simplesavings.com.au)
I've been using this method for six months now. I've only had one failure (so I made yoghurt pops for the kids), and it's saved me well over $100 by now.
(Sorry for the essay!)

Frogdancer  – (4:03 pm)  

Forgot to add... keep the opened Easiyo starter in an airtight container in the fridge. It won't work if the starter gets stale.

:)

rhembein  – (4:19 pm)  

Well my grandmother made yogurt regularily, but how I have no idea.

Good luck though. SOMEONE in blogland MUST be able to help you.

fingercrossed
~gyl

Stacey (Sheeps Clothing)  – (5:42 pm)  

I think its definitely the lack of a goat bladder. You need to find yourself one, sling it across the front of your saddle and gallop across the plains all day, marauding style.
If that doesn't work, let me know.

nikkishell  – (6:08 pm)  

Don't say i didn't warn you! I used the Jamie Oliver recipe too when i tried it. now i use the EasyYo recipe from the simple savings website like Frogdancer. Much much easier! :)

Boffcat  – (7:07 pm)  

According to my yoghurt-making ex-flatmate, the problem is usually the yoghurt you add to the mix (and she's in the couple-of-spoonfuls camp). Sometimes the bio-cultures are already dead when you buy the yoghurt, so it won't have the desired magical effect.

(Incidentally, my mum uses EasiYo too, and although it does make nice yoghurt it doesn't really give you that virtuous "made it myself" glow.)

Claire Falkingham  – (3:05 pm)  

We tried a Jamie Oliver ice-cream recipe that was a total flop! I recommend Australian Women's Weekly recipes, I know it probably sounds daggy, but they are triple tested and always seem to work for me, domestic Goddess that I am!!

Ruby Red  – (3:43 pm)  

Possibly the yoghurt you were adding didn't have any (live) cultures in it? Without cultures your milk will just remain as milk. Many supermarket yoghurts either don't have any ABC cultures and are thickened with gelatine instead or the cultures are long dead by the time they get to your home. We used to have good sucess with Organic Yoghurt (ummm, I think the Paris Creek brand?) as the 'starter' in making our own yoghurt. I seem to remember Jalna used to be pretty good for active cultures too, but it's been a while.

Also, home made yoghurt is a lot runnier in consistancy then the stuff we usually see. The texture is not always what you would expect. You can thicken it out a little with some extra powdered milk stirred in if you like.

joyflea  – (8:27 pm)  

I bought an Easiyo and it works great. ( I need to remember to add sugar to the unsweetened mix though.)
I found these via someone's blog, maybe whip up. Check 'em out.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=28480

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/Cheese/yogurt_making/YOGURT2000.htm

Reethi  – (5:35 pm)  

I just found your blog!

My mom makes yoghurt every day - 1/2 a liter of yoghurt for culture definitely seems wrong, she uses more like 1-2 tbsp.

She does what Cookie above suggested, except no thermometers - the milk should cool to the point where its warmish hot but not scalding to the touch. (Dip finger in milk..)

Also, as Ruby Red said, home made is runnier, and has a lot more whey.

Yoghurt doesn't set if the temp is too cool. If you have a gas oven with a pilot light, its good to toss it in the oven overnight. If not, I preheat the oven to 200F for a few minutes, and then check the temp - if it feels warm in the oven, and not hot, I put the milk in.

Good luck...

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