Homemade yogurt

I was addicted to fresh yogurt some time back, and decided to make my own yogurt at home. And it was really easy to do so! Just mix your yogurt starter with milk, and let the mixture ferment at a stable temperature. Of course, I didn’t want to waste time and precious ingredients, so I went out and bought an electric yogurt maker, which helps keep the temperature stable. There are quite a few brands of yogurt maker available, but I decided on Severin. It is available at Tangs departmental store, for S$65. The main reason why I decided to get this was that I was able to decide how much yogurt I want to make, and also the smaller jars meant that I was able to keep the yogurt fresh as I didn’t have to keep dipping into the same tub when I wanted some yogurt. However, if you consume a lot of yogurt, you may want to consider Smart Bean yogurt maker which looks like the one on the right. Smart Bean yogurt maker cuts out the step of having to wash and sterilize jars – simply open a carton of fresh milk, plop the entire carton into the maker, add your starter and you’re done for the day!

I have tried making soy yogurt before but the taste was weird… homemade yogurt is easy to make and ensures that you have fresh yogurt! See below for directions:

  1. Set up: Make sure the jars are completely clean and sterilized. If you haven’t used the jars in a while, boil some water and fill the jars with the hot water for 5-10 minutes. It kills all the bacteria and makes sure that your yogurt will ferment properly. You don’t want nasty bacteria to get into your system! Only the good ones!
  2. Required ingredients: yogurt starter, fresh milk
    1. Yogurt starter: I usually buy plain yogurt from the supermarket (make sure there are live cultures in it, and also your starter determines your end product, so choose a starter that you like), or fresh yogurt from my local yogurt ’boutique’ (The Yogurt Place). The fresher your starter is, higher % of your yogurt being a success. Don’t get flavoured yogurt as it has other ingredients added into it, and may affect the final result of your homemade yogurt. I have tried the following starters with good results: Pauls natural set yogurt (original) & Greek yogurt from The Yogurt Place. *Pauls gave me a runnier yogurt, whereas TYP gave me slightly thicker yogurt – might be due to the type of yogurt starter.
  3. Scoop out approx 2 tsp of yogurt starter for every 200ml of yogurt you want to make (200ml of milk = 200ml of yogurt). Put starter in a clean bowl and add some milk to thin it out. I use milk straight from the fridge. Once your starter is thinned out, add in the rest of the milk. Stir gently to make sure the starter is mixed evenly, or you’ll get grainy yogurt.
  4. Pour the yogurt-milk mixture into the clean jars. Cover them and place them in the maker. It takes anywhere between 6-8 hours to set. The longer you keep them warm, the tangier and more firm/thick the yogurt will be.
  5. Keep the yogurt in the fridge when yogurt is set.
  6. Set aside some of your homemade yogurt for the next batch (so you won’t have to keep buying starters).
  7. If you want yours to be flavoured (with fruits or vanilla), just add them before you eat! Jam, honey, brown sugar work well too! (I love brown sugar with my plain yogurt!)

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