The other day I was at Whole Foods and picked up some plain yogurt. At least I thought it was plain yogurt. As it turns out, I didn’t realize that it was vanilla yogurt until I was folding it into the warm milk that I had just heated on the stove and then cooled for home yogurt production. My carelessness with reading labels annoys me because in this day and age, you need to take great care. You never know what you might be purchasing.
At first, I almost stopped.
Then I thought, wait! Many discoveries were made by happenings like this when you accidentally make a change and follow it through.
This usage of vanilla yogurt with a touch of maple syrup as a starter turned out to be delicious. Granted, the one cup of yogurt was spread into the five cups of homemade yogurt I was making, but it was truly delicious.
I had bought two of the supposed plain yogurts and both of them were the same. Since I am out of the batch of the first, I am making more.
Making yogurt is a simple process. MK’s dad told me of how their Swedish family ate ‘filbunke’ all the time. They made it in a covered bowl kept in a warm part of the kitchen. I make ours in a small Salton incubator, that just keeps it slightly warm once it is placed in the jars.
First, you take the milk you are using, bring it just to a boil, and quickly remove it before it spills over. You then allow it to cool off to 110 degrees Fahrenheit or so. Once it reaches that temperature, you put several heaping tablespoons of old yogurt or culture in it, stir it up, and place the liquid in jars. They are placed into the incubator and about ten hours later, you have yogurt.
It is delicious and you put in it whatever you want. Some crunchy natural sugar or some delicious jam makes a delicious treat. In the case of our vanilla starter yogurt, we just add sugar.