In Episode 46, we encourage you to make your own yoghurt using the fabulous tips from Thermomix yoghurt maker extraordinaire, Leonie Cavill from ThermoFun.
In short, to make yoghurt you need to heat milk to kill any bacteria, then cool the milk, add the yoghurt culture (good bacteria), and incubate.
It is generally agreed by historians that yogurt and other fermented milk products were discovered accidentally as a result of milk being stored by primitive methods in warm climates. Most historical accounts attribute yogurt to the Neolithic peoples of Central Asia around 6000 B.C.. Herdsmen began the practice of milking their animals, and the natural enzymes in the carrying containers (animal stomachs) curdled the milk, essentially making yogurt. Not only did the milk then keep longer, it is thought that people preferred the taste so continued the practice, which then evolved over centuries into commercial yogurt making. The great news is that Thermomix yoghurt making with incubation in a Thermoserver is MUCH easier than using an old cow's stomach.
The motivation for making your own yoghurt is the same for trying to make other basics from scratch: the ability to control the additives (e.g. how much sugar you want to add) and great cost benefits. By using the milk you can buy for $1/L, you can also make yoghurt for $1/kg. In contrast, Vaalia’s My First Baby Yoghurt is currently selling for $1.60 for 70g – that’s $22.99/kg. Woolworths brand Greek Yoghurt sells from $6.60/kg.
We called in expert Thermomix yoghurt maker Leonie from ThermoFun, who has a 100% success rate with making thick creamy yoghurt… and by using the recipe and tips featured in her yoghurt making document, we have had a 100% success rate too!
1 litre milk (you can use full cream, lite, UHT, powdered… up to you!)
50g Milk powder (not essential)
3 Tbsp pot set Natural Yoghurt (if this is your first batch, use a reputable brand of natural Greek Yoghurt, or if you’re making a sweet yoghurt use Vaalia French Vanilla… if it is not, use the starter that you reserved from your last batch)
1. Pour milk and powdered milk into TM bowl and blend for Speed 7 / 10 seconds.
(Want to make a sweet yoghurt? You can add 2 teaspoons vanilla essence and 30-50g sugar to this step)
2. Cook for 30 minutes / 90 degrees / Speed 3 (if cooked on Speed 1 you will get a burnt film of milk on the bottom of your bowl – which does comes off quite easily after)
3. Place TM bowl into fridge or freezer for approx 40 mins to drop the temp down to 37 degrees (put a timer on so you don’t forget!)…. another option for a sweet yoghurt occurs here as you can add a tablespoon of honey after the milk has finished the heating step)
4. When the 40 minutes is up – turn your Thermomix back on – place TM bowl on to unit and the temperature light should light up on the 37 or 50 degrees. If it lights up on 50 degrees or higher – put bowl back in fridge for another 15 or so minutes. Then take out and test again.
Note: The 37 degree temp is crucial for the yoghurt to be a success. You need to wait for the 37 light to go OUT so you know it is no hotter than 37. The bowl will be warm to your hands, but not hot.
If you accidentally forget it in the fridge and it gets way below 37 – don’t worry just put it back on to heat up again for say 5 mins, 37 degrees speed 3. Once you see the light come on at 37 degrees you can then stop it. (You don’t need to do the full 5 minutes, you just need to have a time set in order for the temperature to work).
5. Once at 37 degrees add the 3 Tbsp pot set natural yoghurt (starter) and mix Speed 4 / 4 seconds.
6. Cook for 10 minutes / 37 degrees / Speed 3.
Simultaneously: pre warm your Thermoserver with boiling water from the kettle.
7. When the 10 minutes of cooking is finished, drain your water-filled Thermoserver – then pour the cooked milk from the TM bowl into your pre-warmed Thermoserver.
8. Wrap your Thermoserver in a thick towel or blanket (we also pop a hot wheat bag / hot water bottle on top) to keep warm for a minimum of 6 hours (leave it somewhere in the house where it will be left undisturbed) – it can actually be left up to 24 hours! (The longer you leave it the thicker it gets).
9. After the minimum of 6 hours, take the lid off the Thermoserver and enjoy your yoghurt! Don’t forget to reserve 3 tablespoons into a smaller container to keep as a starter for your next batch.
Some FAQs answered by Leonie…
Q: Do I have to use powdered Milk?
A: NO! It's the milk solids in the milk powder that help your yoghurt set thickly. You can make yoghurt without it; the final result will just not be as thick. If you really want your yoghurt thick and don’t want to use milk powder – you can drain it through a muslin cloth to remove the whey and you'll be left with a thicker product.
Q: What is Pot Set Yoghurt (starter)?
A: Pot set yoghurt is any yoghurt for which the ingredients read something like, milk, cream, live cultures. Brand examples are: Jalna, Mundella, Farmers Union, Chris's, Aldi/Woolies/Coles Greek yoghurt. If, when you read the ingredients it includes any thickeners or gelatine etc then it is NOT pot set. It is milk with thickeners and gelatine (and usually has loads of sugar and artificial flavours). A “starter” contains the live bacterial cultures that help transform milk into yogurt. You can start a batch of homemade yogurt two ways: from a few tablespoons of store-bought (or previously homemade) plain yogurt, or with a yogurt starter powder.
Q: My yoghurt is always too sour.
A: The longer you allow your yoghurt to incubate the sourer it will become. Next time try taking it out earlier. It will be a test and try again until you get the taste that is right for you and your family.
Here are some troubleshooting tips (although if you follow ThermoFun’s recipe to the letter, you won’t need them!):
Yoghurt Hasn’t Thickened?
– Your incubation temperature could have been too low.
Didn’t use a Thermoserver all wrapped up? Your cooling could have been too rapid, losing the heat that's needed to incubate yogurt.
Did you forget to put the culture in the milk? (It does happen!)
Your incubation time may have been too short.
The culture may have been ruined if you added it to milk that was still too hot.
• The culture was not put into the milk. (Yes, it happens.)
• The incubation time may have been too short.
The starter culture was ruined because it was added to hot milk. The milk should have cooled to lukewarm first.
The brand of yoghurt you used as your starter wasn’t natural yoghurt.
Yoghurt Too Watery?
• The incubation temperature may have been too high (didn’t let cool for long enough).
• The incubation period was too long.
Too much starter was used.
• Not enough starter was used to culture the milk.
• The milk was not heated to a high enough temperature initially.
The yogurt was disturbed by shaking, tilting, or rattling during incubation.
Here are some tips from this podcast:
– You can make individual pots (in jars or containers) of yoghurt with frozen berries on the bottom, a layer of yoghurt with the granola from our quick breakfast episode on top. Make ahead for a breakfast or snack on-the-go.
– Here's an idea for Fruit Bottom Compote for Yoghurt
– Google ‘Thermomix Coulis' or use the recipe in your EDC to make your own fruit additions for your yoghurt.
– Don't use protein powder in lieu of milk powder unless you like the texture of mud (we make the mistakes so you don't have to!)
Did you love how easy this recipe is??? For more easy documents like this one, Leonie has very reasonably priced Club Memberships so that you get access to all of her great information AND her private ThermoFun community. Not only that, however, she has HEAPS of free information and meal plans on her website – so be sure to check it out!
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