Along with butter, eggs, and chocolate, yoghurt is always stocked in my fridge – it’s my go-to breakfast most mornings, and I use it in smoothies, to dollop over curries, as a base for creamy pasta sauces, to drizzle over pancakes, in tzatziki, and to make labneh. While the store-bought stuff is awesome, I’m a known make-it-from-scratch kind of gal (see here, here and here), and have been obsessed with making my own at home since being gifted with a Yoghurt Maker about a year ago.
The basic makeup of yoghurt is milk and live cultures. The latter and more scary-sounding ingredient is essentially “good bacteria”, and while it comes in powdered form from specialty shops and on the interwebs, you can find it in spades in a tub of ready-made store-bought yoghurt. Using yoghurt to make yoghurt may seem whack, but for addicts like myself, it’s really rather genius. My machine makes six 200ml jars, and I’ll save my last jar to make the next batch and so on and so forth, so that in theory, I have a perpetual source of yoghurt right there in my fridge.
The process is a snap, and the recipe can be adapted to suit whatever flavours take your fancy. I tend to make a simple plain base add additional ingredients to it later, like nuts, fresh vanilla, coconut, or berries. To start, pour 1.2 litres of full cream milk into a large jug (some recipes claim you have to heat the milk first, but as I can’t be bothered with that sort of palaver and am not convinced it makes a difference anyway, I use it straight from the fridge). Add 200ml of plain natural yoghurt and 1 cup of milk powder (while not strictly necessary, this adds a pleasing thick-and-creaminess), then whiz everything together with a hand blender. Pour the mixture into the jars, pop the lids on, and place into the machine for the recommended time – I find that 8 to 10 hours does the trick in terms of texture and tang. Once the yoghurt has set, transfer the jars to the fridge to chill.