A departure from the norm. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I was diagnosed as having Celiac disease 3 years ago. For me being gluten-free is not an option a reason to jump on the latest diet fad in the USA. It is the difference between living well or having sharp pains in my stomach, and worse. Argentina is a great country to live in for celiacs. The is a huge awareness. By law, restaurants have to have at least one item on their menu for us. It is not only the food, but the utensils used to prepare it. You cannot cut bread with a knife and then use the same knife to cut vegetables for us. This is known as cross contamination.
While we enjoy a high level of awareness (we even have a supermarket dedicated to products that are regulated for celiacs), we do lack products like the killer chocolate chocolate chip cookies at Trader Joe's. This pushed me to start making my own bread, cakes, pies, pizzas, and whatever else. Yogurt. The yogurt in Argentina is meh. The good stuff comes in tiny packages and is super expensive. The other stuff, you haven't seen in the US or Australia, or anywhere in ages. It is yucky and you are limited to two or maybe three flavors. So I decided to make my own.
Rather than another snarky blog post, here is something you might be able to use. Most people have no idea, how easy it is, to make their own yogurt. Like usual, I searched the web for information. I started making my own yogurt about 2 years ago. I started with this link: Wikihow.com/Make-Yogurt. It even has pictures.
I started with this recipe and then I improved it. The best thing you can do is invest in a cooking thermometer. I paid 45 pesos for one here in Palermo. You absolutely need to get the milk to between 85 - 90c. It is absolutely necessary to get it to the correct temperature. If not hot enough it will produce slimy but edible yogurt. The heat breaks down the proteins. Then you need to cool it to around 40 - 45c. If you just let it cool you get the film so you should whisk it to keep this from happening OR put it in the sink and fill it with cold water. Once the milk is cooled, add 1 T of sugar and 2T of yogurt. (The starter yogurt should be room temp) You can also add 1/4 of powdered milk if you want.
Make sure that it is well mixed and then pour it into a container. I found a plastic pitcher with a removable lid has been the best for me. NOW, the next important step is consistent heat. I finally broke down and bought a heating pad. I put the heating pad on low, place the pitcher on it, and cover it. Leave it alone for 4 hours. The yogurt does not like to be disturbed. So don't stir it or move it. Once it is solid you put it in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
I like tart yogurt so I leave mine usually for 12 hours. You can leave it up to 24 if you want. It has to go in the fridge as the last step. If your yogurt is not firm enough you can drain it. Place a tea towel in a colander and then place it over a bowl. Pour in the yogurt and let it drip away. The liquid is called whey. You can use it in baking, or scrambled eggs, or just throw it out.
I use bag whole milk. I like the flavor of whole milk yogurt. I am so over the low fat craze of the US. You can also do this with lowfat milk. I would not recommend non-fat. You can use any milk but don't use Larga Vida or super ultra pasteurized, the stuff that comes in boxes. I tried it and the yogurt was runny, I had to drain it, and I would get half the amount.
You need to use sugar. It is what the lactobacillus reacts to. I have also used honey with mixed results. It probably depends on your starter. As for yogurt I have used the Dahl plain unsweetened with excellent results, and I have also used Supachense from Dia with good results. You can use flavored yogurt, your first batches will have a tinge of the flavor. I know in the USA and Australia you can actually buy lactobacillus, we don't have here in Argentina.
So there you go, this could be your Saturday project for today. Enjoy!