Monday, February 16, 2009

2nd Gen Yogurt

Madhur Jaffrey says not to worry if one's yogurt doesn't turn out the same way from day-to-day. She writes that when she was growing up, starting yogurt was the last chore done before bed, and the next day they ate whatever it was that turned out, whether it was thin or thick, sour or sweet.

I've made a pot of yogurt every week for the past three months or so, and two of them have turned out perfect. The rest have turned out in all kinds of variations; mostly thin, which is fine, and occasionally curdy, which I usually have to throw out.

Anyway. So last week I made a perfect pot of yogurt. For whatever reason. It was thick, creamy, exactly as yogurt should be.

I had been waiting for this perfect pot for about a month, because I really wanted to try using my own yogurt as a starter instead of using Dannon 100% Natural yogurt from the supermarket. After all, what was the point of making yogurt by hand if I had to go buy store yogurt to start it?

So last night I started a pot of 2nd gen yogurt, and woke up in the morning to this:

I thought I would have to throw it away. I don't know why sometimes it turns into delicious yogurt and sometimes it turns into disgusting curds.

But, as I started to pour it down the drain, I realized that underneath the layer of curd and water there was yogurt.

This looks much better, doesn't it?

And here it is with a bit of cereal and honey:

But seriously. Why sometimes yogurt and sometimes curd?


Avinash said...

A couple of suggestions, since I started making my own yogurt recently as well:

1. Try using whole milk instead of 1% or 2% milk.

2. Try keeping the milk (with the culture mixed in) in the oven at 110 deg. F for about 5 hours. I usually leave it overnight, which makes the yogurt a little sour, but I like it that way.

Blue said...


I've wondered if my oven has been too cold most of the time to get the yogurt to set properly.

Unfortunately the lowest setting on my oven is 170 F, which is too high for yogurt.

I've tried leaving it in the crockpot on low, but I think that is too warm too. :P

Anonymous said...

Have you tried using a yogurt maker? I have one I don't use anymore, but it seemed to work pretty well... if you're interested, I can send it your way. ;)

Blue said...

I haven't tried a yogurt maker... part of me is all "but I wanna do it MYSELF!!!!"

This is a toddler-temper-tantrum attitude, though. :) Plus all it gets me is thin yogurt.