What’s delicious, probiotic, the best part of waking up, and easier to make than I thought it might be?
“I just made it look easy. It’s actually extremely technical.” – K. Don’t let him intimidate you.
Yogurt making is the definition of a K project: like brewing, it requires research, preparation, sterilization, and monitoring. While N and I exist in a sort of ADD wonderland interspersed with brief periods of productive mania, K is the slow and steady tortoise that can follow through on epic projects like yogurt and beer. And spreadsheets.
Of course, the kitchen is my dominion. We’re hoping to put a gas range in the basement for brewing, but until then K has to deal with my less than scientific storage and organization scheme and propensity for popping in and giving unsolicited advice on technique and equipment. I think I was actually useful when he had to improvise a double boiler.
The milk has to be brought to 180 and cooled to 110. Meanwhile the jars are sterilized and a little bit of culture is introduced to each one.
I got the canning jars up the street at an antiques store and for the culture we used the brand of yogurt at the grocery store that had the most cultures listed. In the future, emboldened by our success, we could always branch into yogurt connoisseurship and experiment with different, funkier cultures. I like my yogurt to be a little tangy – I used to make kefir in college in the communal fridge, and got used to that taste with my cereal or granola.
The jars luxuriate in a 100 degree water bath for 8-12 hours. Translation: add small amounts of boiling water every so often; monitor. The cooler maintained temperature well enough that we slept a full 6 hours and the yogurt was perfectly done in the morning.
Breakfast ruled. We used part of the 20 pounds of local honey to flavor our morning yogurt. Hopefully N will get the mead project rolling this week, otherwise all of that honey is going on my breakfast from here on out.
The yogurt has a thin consistency and a pleasant, mild taste. I’m going to try and make some labneh with it today and serve it with the no-knead bread currently rising in the furnace closet. Which, by the way, is a magical recipe. It’s extra good if you sub in 1 cup rye flour. We’re big fans of rye flour in this house.
It’s times like these I sit back and remember to tell myself, “This is the good life.” It’s a busy life with a lot of work and uncertainty, but it’s so amazing to be living and working with people who are also super into learning new skills and making our own stuff. Especially when it’s tasty stuff, like bread and beer. And yogurt.