Simple Raw Yogurt
Super Simple Raw Yogurt
Mesophillic culture. You can easily obtain this culture in cultured buttermilk from your local grocery store. Use 1/4-1/3 per quart jar of milk. Save from 1/4-1/3 cup from each batch of yogurt as a perpetual starter. You cannot use traditional yogurt as a starter for this method, as it's a thermophillic culture.
You can also use a powdered mesophilic culture, such as this.
Raw, organic milk from pastured and grass fed animal. I use cow milk.
Wide mouth quart jar and lid.
Pour the the buttermilk or 1 packet of mesophillic culture into a quart jar.
Pour in raw milk up to where the bottle narrows.
Screw on the lid and shake.
1. If you're using thickened yogurt from your last batch of raw yogurt, whisk it by hand, or with an immersion blender to ensure that it's mixed in well.
2. Place the jar on the counter for 24 hours. At this point, your yogurt should be a thick consistency. When you tip the jar, it should not be runny. Place the jar in the refrigerator to chill. The yogurt will get a bit thicker as it chills.
3. You may eat this as is, sweeten it, or drain it for Greek style yogurt or “cream cheese.”
4. Check out a video here to see how easy it is.
5. Click here for instructions on Greek Style yogurt.
In the winter, cultures slow down. Try adding 1/3 cup of culture in the winter, if necessary. If your house is very cool, it may need to go a bit longer to thicken up.
This should produce a thick yogurt, however, if you stir in sweetener such as honey or maple syrup, it will break the curd and the yogurt will thin out.
If you like your yogurt thick, spoon it into a bowl and drizzle maple syrup, or honey over the top rather than stirring it in. Here are some delicious yogurt toppings: blender fruit spread, naturally sweetened simple syrup, fruit salsa, or just plain fruit is tasty too.
When you buy buttermilk for your first batch of yogurt, freeze the remaining amount in an ice cube tray. Once it is frozen, transfer buttermilk cubes to a storage container. This is nice to have on hand in case you forget to save some yogurt for your next batch, or if your culture becomes sluggish and less potent, producing a less consistent yogurt.
What is the clear yellowish liquid that you can drain off of yogurt? Whey! Remember Little Miss Muffet and her curds and whey? It's kind of funny, we eat Greek Yogurt because we think it's healthy, when it's simply yogurt with the whey drained off. In fact, it's less healthy, because whey is good stuff! People eat Greek Yogurt that is yogurt, minus the whey, and then buy powdered, processed whey protein to put in their smoothies. Hum... I think it's better to stick with the real deal, don't you? It's more heathy! It hasn't been processed and denatured. Your body will thank you!
How would one use whey? Use it in lacto-fermentation, use it in soaking grains, in soups, bone broths, sauces, smoothies, and if you have a lot of whey from raw hard cheesemaking, you could use it as a hair rinse, as a face treatment, and in your bath water. It stores for a month, or so in the fridge.
If you wish to make buttermilk, let it culture 12 hours instead of 24. However; I prefer to just make yogurt and substitute 1 part plain countertop yogurt to 1 part milk or water to equal the amount of buttermilk called for. The substitution works perfectly; the only instance I can think of where it doesn't substitute well, is when buttermilk is used as a culturing medium. In that case you need it full strength and can just use the yogurt whisked in to what ever you are culturing.