i finally succeeded in making some beautiful, perfect, creamy, smooth yoghurt. i used this recipe from sam and sam clark's first moro cookbook. i'm actually typing it here (nearly) verbatum because it has some interesting facts about yoghurt, as well as tips to having a successful turnout...
Yoghurt can be traced back as far as 10,000 BC, and its origins lie in the Muslim Mediterranean. Like bread, its value has been recognized amongst both ancient and modern civilisations as an important food source, and for its restorative, healthy qualities. We use yoghurt a lot in the restaurant for our Muslim Mediterannean recipes, especially ones from Turkey, Lebanon and Syria, although interestingly it does not feature in the North African diet.
Yoghurt is a living thing, a culture, like sourdough starter. At Moro, we always make our own yoghurt, saving some from the old batch to make a new batch. Making yoghurt is a satisfying and easy process....this recipe will yield just over 1kg yoghurt.
2 litres full-fat milk
300ml double cream (whipping cream)
150g live yoghurt (approx 4 tablespoons)
Place the milk in a large saucepan, making sure the pan is no more than two-thirds full. Bring to the boil, stirring often to prevent the milk sticking to the bottom of the pan (otherwise it may burn and give a smoky flavour). Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and reduce by a third, again stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the milk to a ceramic or stainless-steel bowl. Add the cream and stirl well. Allow to cool. When you are able to hold your finger in the milk and count to ten, add the yoghurt and stir well. If the milk is too hot when the live yoghurt culture is added, the bacteria may be killed. If it is not hot enough, it will take a lot longer to set. Cover with clingfilm and leave to stand in a warm place (an airing cupboard is ideal), wrapped in a cloth if possible, for about 8 hours or overnight, until set. Yoghurt keeps in the fridge for 7-10 days.
being me, i departed from the recipe in two ways. one, i didn't really reduce the milk that much. 2, i set it above the dryer to set on sunday evening before i left for oslo. i kept thinking of it at odd times, when it wasn't really a good idea to text husband and tell him to put it in the fridge. so, it actually had about 48 hours setting time. and set it did! it's beautiful and no worse for the wear. probably because the temperature was very moderate and not too warm. it's actually quite think and lovely. i think that's thanks to the cream, as well as the lengthy setting time.
is there a difference between the US and British spellings of yog? it seems so...