To start off with I’m not going to bang on about the reason why you should be making homemade yoghurt. I’m not a doctor, eat it if you like it and at least it hasn’t been reported to be bad for you.
I promised to find a replacement yoghurt maker for all my customers that wanted to purchase the one I kept in my little shop. They were around $50, and mine is about 12 years old. It was a sturdy little unit, but my supplier has discontinued them. I’ve done a lot of research, and after having three different models over the years, this is what I think you need when looking to purchase a yoghurt maker.
- Stable temperature setting, to produce a quality product every time.
- Removable insert, making it easy to clean.
- Temperature setting to be a constant temperature of around 42°c (for the yoghurt cultures we use in Australia.)
- Quality housing, no flimsy plastic bits that can crack.
- An insert that will hold at least 1 litre of milk. Anything less is just a waste. Also, the units that come with cute little individual serving pots aren’t so cute when you break one, lose one, have to empty 3 or 4 of them so you can make a new batch or have to clean them all the time.
- It has to be cost-effective. Oh gosh, I can hear my hubby talking now lol. Although if your family has no milk intolerances then the Woollies 99c 1 Litre UHT pack will give you a litre of yoghurt. I suppose its sort of equivalent counterpart is the Woolworths Greek Style yoghurt. 1 kg of that will cost around $3.90 with a few added extras mixed in. If you go for Jalna beautiful pot set yoghurt, (which is basically what you’ll be making) that is around $7 a litre.
So, with all that in mind this is what have I found?
I love this product, it arrived while I was away on holidays and I’ve been testing it over and over since I’ve got back.
It’s called the “Davis and Waddell Yogurt Maker/Fermenter.” If after reading this you’ve decided you want one, I only have two in stock, and it’s first in first served. (I had to buy three from my supplier and one is mine now. hehehee) If you want one, let me know. My best price is $55. You know I always do my best. 😉 I don’t have the buying power of the big guys, but I’m here to teach cooking not make a big profit on selling stock.
Here’s what I’ve learnt about this new yoghurt maker after doing all my testing.
- Stable temperature setting, to produce a quality product every time. (After checking with my instant read temp probe at various times throughout the day, I’m good with this.)
- Removable insert, making it easy to clean. (This new unit has two inserts and a strainer basket if you want to make labneh and the like. It does say on the packaging to wash with hot soapy water, but I’ve stuck mine in the dishwasher top shelf (on a setting that’s not too hot) on many occasions now, and it’s fine.).
- Temperature setting to be a constant temperature of around 42°c (Although I didn’t stand there for 10 hours while it was making yoghurt checking the temperature it did make my yoghurt in the time it said it would. You don’t want fluctuations in temp, or your results won’t be consistent.)
- Quality housing no flimsy plastic bits that can crack etc. (Check, I love it)
- An insert that will hold at least 1 litre of milk. (Anything less is just a waste. Also, some units come with cute little individual serving pots. They seem like a good idea! Let me tell you they aren’t so cute when you break one, lose one or have to clean them all to make another batch.)
- It has to be cost-effective. (Gosh, I can hear my hubby speaking now. If your family has no milk intolerances then the Woollies 99c, 1 Litre UHT pack will give you a litre of yoghurt. I suppose it’s (sort of) equivalent counterpart is the Woolworths Greek Style yoghurt. 1 kg of that will cost around $3.90 with a few added extras mixed in.)
Oh, and this appliance has seven settings. Most of the time I’ll be using it for yoghurt but it can do more. We go through a lot of it in our house. Here’s a list of other functions it has.
- Plain or Greek yoghurt and fresh cheese
- Capsian Sea yoghurt, Matsoni yoghurt
- Rice wine
- Pickling and fermenting Veg for kimchi, sauerkraut
- Fruit enzyme
- And an adjustable setting so you can set any temperature and time.
There are recipes for each function in the little instruction book that comes with.
As I’ve been writing up all this I thought to myself there may be people out there that have never thought of making their own yoghurt. So here’s how to do it and some answers to loads of questions I get all the time.
Recipe For Making Yoghurt At Home
For making yoghurt, I choose to use UHT Milk as it has gone through all the processes it needs to before you can go ahead and make yoghurt.
1 litre of Long life UHT Milk
½ to 1 sachet of Mad Millie’s yoghurt culture. (This can be used repeatedly more on that later.)
My Method for Making Yoghurt with the Davis and Waddell Yoghurt maker.
- Add the Mad Millie culture to one of the clean, dry inserts. Or you can use a couple of tablespoons of contamination-free previously made or purchased yoghurt. More on that later. It’s crucial the container is very clean you’ll be sitting it at a temperature that’s ideal for good and bad bacteria to grow.
- Add about a ½ cup of the UHT milk and give it a good swish around (this will mix the culture into the milk without having to use a spoon)
- Add the remainder of milk and set it in the unit. In the case of this unit, I press C1 and click start.
- Leave to set takes 10 hours.
After the unit turns off, don’t panic about getting it into the fridge if you’re asleep or at work when it’s finished. Just pop it in the refrigerator as soon as possible. It will take 2 – 3 hours to set up as it chills in the fridge.
To achieve a thicker set yoghurt, you can use one of two methods.
Add a couple of tablespoons of skim milk powder to the milk before heating, at the stage you add your culture.
Drain the yoghurt after it has cooled in the fridge. The longer you drain it, the thicker the yoghurt will be. The usual amount to be drained off is between 250 and 500ml of whey from this amount of milk. This whey is slightly acidic and can be used in baking where ever a recipe asks for buttermilk etc. a ratio of 75/25 milk/whey will work nicely. You can also go 50/50 for a lower fat version. But be careful here because it depends if your recipe needs the fat to make it yummy.
So there you have it. Pretty easy hey. You basically can make 1 litre of yoghurt for just over $1 every 10 hours or so. Cool huh.
Here are some questions I’m always being asked.
Q: Why do you use one of these machines rather than something you already have?
A: You know if it’s a quality purpose-built product it usually does a better job. Yes, you can use your Thermomix, but you won’t be able to use the bowl and blade while it’s doing its thing. Yes, you can set if for overnight but in the morning you’ll have to remove it from the bowl so you can use it for something else. I suppose I like the ease of use with this unit, it doesn’t take up much room and it’s on at least twice a week at our place. I can take the container straight from the unit and pop it in the fridge and leave it there till I’ve used it all up.
Q: Why use UHT doesn’t it taste funny.
A: The UHT process gets the milk ready for making yoghurt without you having to lift a finger. These days the process is so quick you can barely tell the difference between UHT and regular milk for this purpose anyway. I don’t particularly like it in my latte, but yoghurt is just fine. In fact, I suspect that’s what we’re used to eating from the supermarket yoghurts anyway.
Q: Do I have to use the Mad Millie culture every time?
A: No, you don’t. You can use any previously made yoghurt plain or Greek yoghurt as long as it’s clean and fresh. No contaminants. The yoghurt will pretty much set up every time you make a batch although the taste and the probiotics will diminish. I usually give it around 5 or so times and then start from scratch again. The Mad Millie sachets are really cheap, and if you keep them in the freezer, they’ll last a year or so.
Q: My homemade yoghurt doesn’t taste like my favourite yoghurt from the supermarket how can I fix it?
A: Take a look at the ingredient list on your favourite yoghurt it might have sugar added. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to add some sweetness to bring the flavour up to how you like it. I suggest mixing in some honey or jam after it’s made, much nicer to use and eat.
Q: Someone in my family is lactose intolerant can I use other milk types?
A: The milk I tend to use is A2 UHT or Lactose-Free UHT so they’re fine. If you want to use a nut milk you’ll have to use thickeners. Mad Millie has a solution, although I’ve not used them myself I’ve had a lot of customers tell me it’s just perfect for them.
Q: How can I make flavoured yoghurt, like vanilla for example?
A: Add it afterwards. If you’re making a litre of yoghurt at a time, you can take out a serving and add whatever you like. Even vanilla. My husband likes to have ½ tsp of vanilla swirled into his. My grandson loves ½ tsp of nana’s strawberry jam. I use plain yoghurt in all sorts of things. Marinating meat, cakes, bread making etc. Brilliant.
Q: My yoghurt isn’t very thick how can I get it like the shop bought stuff?
A: If you look at the ingredient list on any yoghurt container from the supermarket they all state in one form or another that they contain “milk solids”. This is milk powder, start by adding two tablespoons of skim milk powder to your 1 litre of milk and see how you go. In my experience, you can go up to ¼ of a cup without changing the taste of your yoghurt, and that gives you a lovely thick yoghurt. If you want it any thicker than that, say for Labneh etc. just strain it in the basket provided. Leave it in the fridge overnight, and it will be nice and thick in the morning.
Q: When I make my first batch of yoghurt with my culture it’s beautiful and smooth on the top when it’s done. Although when I use two tablespoons of the previous yoghurt to make a batch, it’s a bit lumpy on top. Is this ok?
A: It’s perfectly fine. I think if it’s not entirely mixed through, it does that. I get it as well, but it doesn’t change the quality of the product.
Q: if I want to make yoghurt from a supermarket brand yoghurt as a starter what brand should I choose?
A: Choose one that doesn’t have many additives (unfortunately you can’t seem to avoid them in supermarket yoghurt) or sugar added, and that’s pot set like Jalna.
If you have any other questions you’d like me to answer, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ve been making yoghurt for around 20 years now, so I think I’ve got a handle on it. 😉
Apart from all the sweet suggestions I’ve made for using yoghurt what about this as a savoury one. Quick Tandoori Chicken