1 000 g fresh milk, full cream
25 g sugar, preferably white, see tips below
30 g honey, optional
100 g plain Greek yoghurt, see tips below
1 tsp Probiotic powder, optional
Flavourings such as vanilla bean paste, fruit purées or stewed fruit, optional
- Place milk, sugar and honey into mixing bowl. Mix 5 sec/speed 5. Heat 20 min/90°C/speed 2. Remove the lid and leave to cool until the temperature reaches 37°C. Depending on room temperature, this could take as long as 2 hours.
- Once cooled, add the yoghurt. Don’t be hasty with this as higher temperatures will kill the yoghurt bacteria. Warm gently 10 min/37°C/reverse/speed 2. Add pro-biotic powder now if using and stir 10 sec/speed 3.
- Preheat oven to 50°C. Pour yoghurt into a slightly warmed ThermoServer or thick, insulated ceramic bowl. Cover with a lid and place in the oven, switching the oven off immediately. Leave overnight. If the weather is cold, slightly warm the ThermoServer by rinsing it out quickly with boiling water.
- Optional step for a thicker, creamier yoghurt. Line the simmering basket with a muslin cloth and pour the yoghurt into the basket. Leave to drain for about 20 minutes. Leave longer for a thicker result.
- Transfer yoghurt into sterilised glass jars and refrigerate until required.
Further tips for success with yoghurt
- It is very important to make sure all utensils and mixing bowl are clean. Although foreign food particles won’t change the result, it will lead to a shorter “fridge life”.
- As in any cooking, the end result starts with good, wholesome, fresh ingredients and as far as possible, use preservative-free, organic ingredients.
- Low fat or fat free milk and a low fat yoghurt used as starter will yield a thin runny yoghurt. Should the yoghurt turn out thinner than anticipated, don’t waste it or be dis-heartened, use it for baking, cooking or in smoothies and drinking yoghurt.
- Another tip for a runny yoghurt, is to freeze it in ice blocks and follow the steps in the basic cook book for sorbet, using the ice yoghurt blocks instead of water ice blocks for a healthy frozen yoghurt.
- The bacteria in the yoghurt starter feed on sugar and thus become prolific in the yoghurt and support a thicker end result. While we try and steer clear of refined ingredients, in this case, it is definitely beneficial. The bacteria do not feed on honey in the same way so it is not a substitute.
- The bacteria feed on the natural sugars in the dairy milk therefore non-dairy milks such as nut milks, will not be as thick and creamy.
- You may also use 30-100 g full cream milk powder in step 1. This will also aid in thickening the yoghurt.
- Leave the yoghurt in the refrigerator for a day or two before eating. The yoghurt will thicken further on standing.
- Keep 100 g of yoghurt to start the next batch. This will not only be cost effective, but keep in check those preservatives.
- A pro-biotic powder is adding “healthy” bacteria to the yoghurt. It can also be used as a non-dairy starter instead of the yoghurt, however, it must contain the correct bacteria. There isn’t enough space here to cover this in any depth.
- Omit the honey for a mostly unsweetened yoghurt. Remember that commercial natural yoghurts are sweet so it may take a while to get used to the unsweetened yoghurt.
- Use fruits as the natural sweetener, or maple syrup.