When it comes to food, many people enjoy making their own products. From cakes and desserts to entire meals, the options for homemade goods are nearly infinite. In addition to tasting fresher and suiting particular tastes, making sauces, condiments, salsas and other favourites at home saves time and money. This is particularly true for staple household items, such as yoghurt. Making yoghurt at home is quite easy, and leaves room for creativity and adjustment to suit personal tastes. With a few simple tools, ingredients, and patience, the process begins.
First on the list is milk. There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to selecting a milk base; the options depend on personal preference and dietary requirements. Some people prefer low-fat, skim or non-dairy milk, while others choose to use whole milk, or they even choose raw milk.
Keep in mind, however, that the type of milk influences the texture and viscosity of yoghurt. Dense and rich milks produce thicker, creamier yoghurts, while water-based milks create thinner strains. Starter cultures are other essential ingredients for making yoghurt. Cultures vary in consistency, price, and flavour. Some yoghurts are plain, which allows consumers to add their own flavours. Others yoghurts come in common yoghurt flavours, such as strawberry, peach, and blueberry. Some cultures are freeze-dried, while others are in packages on shelves.
In addition to the basic ingredients, making yoghurt requires supplies. Clean glass containers work best for starting yoghurt cultures. However, food-grade plastic containers may work too. After preparing, people store yoghurt in single, large containers or package the product into smaller individual containers. Regardless of whether they are plastic or glass, containers need covers to allow the yoghurt fermentation process to occur. Many containers come with covers, but if not, coffee filters or tight-weave cloths work too. Covering the finished yoghurt is the last step; a tight fit and rubber band does the trick.
Next on the supply list is a pot for heating the yoghurt. Pots made of stainless steel, glass, or enamel work best for heating milk. Double boilers, however, reduce the risk of milk scorching and burning, and are practical for making larger batches.
Thermometers, timers, and measuring cups and spoons are essential supplies too. Some people use manual thermometers, while others rely on digital readings from ovens and stoves. With these tools and supplies, the task of making yoghurt culture begins.
Making the Yoghurt
There is some variation amongst yoghurt culture recipes. However, some basic steps remain the same.
The milk culturing process is the longest stage of culture preparation. After letting yoghurt culture according to instructions, the mixture should sit for at least two hours to cool properly. Most cultures cool in the refrigerator, although some sit on the countertop. To achieve thicker yoghurt, simply drain excess whey, which produces a Greek-style yoghurt.
How to Buy Yoghurt-making Supplies on eBay
While the task of preparing a yoghurt culture may sound daunting, eBay makes it easy to get the supplies and tools you need to begin. Here, you can start at the landing page, and find the items and accessories you need to prepare and store your homemade yoghurt. Begin by typing the phrase for the materials you need in the search box; to locate a glass container, for instance, type 'glass container' into the box at the top of the page. You can then narrow results by size, price, brand, and condition, amongst other options. Simply repeat the process for other materials you need, and the yoghurt-making process begins.