Yoghurt is one of those things that are super easy to make at home, and well worth the bother. With milk available to buy for as little as $1 a litre, it doesn't make sense to pay $5 for a litre of yoghurt.
Delicious home made yoghurt: you know exactly what went into it.
Not to mention the fact that if you're vegetarian like me, it saves you the trouble of checking the back of every packet for gelatine inclusion.
Ingredients 1 litre of milk
1 tbsp of sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons of your last batch of yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp of honey
Put the milk on the stove on high, and bring the milk to just below boiling, and keep there for one minute. This is done to kill of any bacteria in there presently.
Stir in the tablespoon of sugar if you want a sweet yoghurt. If you are trying to make a more tangy, greek style yoghurt, this is unnecessary.
Leave the milk to cool until it reaches around 37 degrees. You can use a cooking thermometer if you have one, but I use my finger to test the temperature: when you can sit your finger in the milk without it feeling hot or cold, you're good to go.
I put the lid on the pot to prevent anything getting in
If you have a yoghurt maker, simply pour the milk into the container, and fill the maker with boiling water. If you don't have a yoghurt maker, never fear! it's pretty much a glorified insulating machine. You can use a thermos with great success, or simply choose an air tight container to pour you milk into.
I got my yoghurt maker at aldi for less than ten dollars.
Stir in the old yoghurt.
use any yoghurt for this: store bought, or homemade
If you are using a yoghurt maker, close it up and leave it for 12 hours (8 hours if it's over 30 degrees)
If you are using a sealable container, simply wrap in a towel and sit somewhere warm, for example, a window that gets sun. You may like to leave the yoghurt there for a few hours longer: the longer you leave it out, the thicker the yoghurt will be.
Don't leave your yoghurt in the maker or on the window sill for more than 16 hours!
Once your yoghurt is at the thickness you want, remove your container from the towel or maker, and put your container into the fridge for 4 hours. This step is important as it allows your yoghurt to set before it's disrupted: if you stir through your flavours now, your yoghurt will be very thin.
Chop the berries and stir through the yoghurt with the vanilla essence and honey. I often split up the yoghurt, flavouring half and keeping half for supplementing savoury dishes, and for making my next batch of yoghurt.
I'd love to hear any of your flavouring ideas: be brave and report back!