October 4, 2009 at 12:45 am Leave a comment

fresh yogurtsm
How to make fresh plain yogurt

The following recipe is an old fashion way of making yogurt by Persians for centuries. Based on a Persian saying, “1 cup of daily yogurt consumption would increase one’s health and life expectancy”. Yogurt with active beneficial bacteria (active cultures) is known to demonstrate several nutritional benefits including colon health, strengthening bones, improving our immune system, and preventing yeast infections. Yogurt also contains good quality protein (about 9 grams per 6-ounce serving). This makes it a good choice for individuals looking for protein supplements. Protein is needed by our body to build and/or maintain muscle mass during body fat loss after bariatric surgery. This recipe can be doubled if you are going to make thick creamy Persian yogurt spread.

1/2 gallon of milk, preferably 2%

2-3 table spoons of plain yogurt with active cultures as starter (at room temperature) or the freeze-dried bacteria.

2-3 table spoons of dry milk (optional)

A candy thermometer

Pour the milk into a pot. Heat the milk mixing frequently until it starts to boil.

Start cooling the milk. Set your starter at room temperature.

Stir once in a while and check the temperature with your thermometer. Once the temperature of milk reaches anywhere between 105-110 F (41-43 C), mix in 2-3 table spoons of the warm milk into your starter (this will warm your starter). [ Optional: Add your dry milk and mix well if desired to increase protein content of your yogurt. ]

Pour your starter in the warm milk and cover the pot..

Turn your oven on for a short time to increase the temperature (about 100 degrees) and then turn it off. Place the yogurt in it. Make sure the oven is not too hot. This will allow the milk to cool slowly for maximum incubation time and bacterial fermentation. If you do this step at night, your yogurt will thicken over night (about 8-14 hours). The next morning, take it out of the oven and place it in the refrigerator without shaking too much.

Once it is cooled, you may mix your yogurt in the pot and pour it in containers. Keep it covered in the fridge. This will keep fresh in refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

You can use some of the fresh yogurt as starter for the next time.

Note 1: Sometimes during the incubation time in the oven, a thin yellow liquid is collected on the top of your yogurt. You can pour it off or stir it in before eating your yogurt.

Note 2: When serving, you can add optional flavorings such as fresh berries, banana slices, vanilla extract, etc.

Persian thick yogurt spread: This is a creamy thick yogurt spread that has been used in Persian, Greek, and Turkish cultures has a similar taste to cream cheese. To make this, simply put your yogurt in a clean cotton bag (I use a clean small cotton pillow case as my draining bag); let it drain in the sink while elevating it to allow the dripping. After 6-10 hours the yogurt is thickened. If you wish to make it even thicker, place the bag containing the yogurt in a bowl and place it in the fridge overnight. It will let liquid out of the bag into the bowl. You may take it out of the bag and place it in an air tight container and refrigerate it.

This can be done using store bought commercial plain yogurt as well. You may add dry herbs such as mint, rosemary, and oregano in it and mix it. This is a very delicious old fashion Persian spread.


Entry filed under: Yogurt.

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