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27 April 2009

Making yoghurt (yogurt) and quark

I hope you had a lovely weekend. We are a home of four adults again. Shane and Sarndra asked if they can stay here till they get jobs and naturally we said yes. We all did our own thing during the day, each working on our projects, then Shane cooked us a delicious chick pea and vegetable stew last night for dinner. It's a real treat having someone prepare the evening meal, especially one of my sons.

I did some cooking - yoghurt, quark and tomato relish, and as Colleen asked for the quark recipe, I'm happy to share that with you again. Lucky I took photos, Colleen. ; - ) There are a few ways you can make quark, this is how I do it.

First, make the yoghurt. I made this last week. I bought a container of natural organic 'Barambah' yoghurt, the 'use by' date was one month away so I knew it was fresh. Make sure you use natural yoghurt, not vanilla or any other flavour, or anything with gelatin in it. To make yoghurt, I used a litre (quart) of full cream, non-homogensied local milk. This milk is pasturised.

TO MAKE YOGHURT
  • Warm 1 litre (quart) of milk to 80C (180F) and remove from heat. Allow the milk to cool to 45C (110F). This is an important step that kills any bacteria present. You want bacteria to grow, but only the good stuff, this process pasturises the milk again.
  • When the milk has cooled to the right temperature, add half cup of yoghurt. Don't add the yoghurt before it has cooled or you will kill the beneficial bacteria.
  • Stir until the yoghurt has dissolved in the milk.
  • Set in an open wide casserole dish and place in a preheated oven. You want the temperature in the over to be no more than 45 - 50C (115 - 122F). Preheat the oven, then turn it off.
  • The yoghurt mix needs to stay warm for about 12 - 18 hours.
I make this in the early morning so I can monitor it during the day. When the oven temperature goes down, heat it up again, making sure it doesn't get too hot or too cold. If you over heat the yoghurt, you'll kill the beneficial bacteria. Leave the dish of yoghurt mix sit in the warm oven all day but don't stir it, just let it sit. At the end of the day, test it to see if it's thickened. If it has, you've made yoghurt. If it hasn't, reheat the oven and leave it longer. If you need to leave it in the oven overnight, that's fine but if you've used a good quality, fresh, natural yoghurt it will usually set in 12 hours.

TO MAKE QUARK

You need to drain as much whey from the yoghurt as possible.
  • Take a large jug, that you can fit a strainer in. You'll need cheesecloth, if you don't have any, use open weave cotton. I used handkerchief cotton that I bought from Spotlight. Line the strainer with the cotton and pour the set yoghurt into the strainer.

  • Fold in the cotton over the top of the yoghurt and place a small plate on top. Then a tin of something to weigh the plate down.

  • Put the jug in the fridge so the whey can drain while the yoghurt stays cold.
  • This will take between 1 - 2 days.
  • Save the whey for a million other things, don't throw it away. You can see half the whey I collected in the jar above.


  • I divide the quark in two and make one sweet cheese and one savory. On the weekend I added a tablespoon of honey to one half the quark and stirred it in thoroughly. You could also use jam.
  • To make the savory quark, I added a sprinkling of chilli flakes, salt and pepper and sprinkled paprika on top. You could also add either tomato relish, finely chopped cucumber or herbs.



Place the quarks into bowls and store in the fridge. They will keep for at least a month but here they only last a week, if that.

USING WHEY
The whey that drains from the quark contains live lactobacillus acidophilus which is very good for you and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be added to sauerkraut, relish, salsa or pickles. I also use whey in cakes and scones. The bacteria is killed during baking but the taste still comes through.

I hope you try this. It's an easy way to produce yoghurt and simple cheese.


42 comments:

  1. I've made quark using your directions from shop bought yogurt and it was delicious; thanks, Rhonda. It cost the same price as buying quark ready made, but I expect it is more economical making your own yogurt. I have sometimes bought yogurt for a curry and made a small amount of quark from the leftovers.

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  2. Thank you, Rhonda!

    Coleen

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  3. Hi Rhonda,
    Thanks for the great info,am going to try quark on my next day off. It sounds so delish....
    This week I have set my plan for the week on paper..what I need to get cleaned and our menus. I believe if I remember to stay mindful about my day I will complete more than I thought possible. And any thing not completed was meant not to get done this week.
    Thanks for all your help and encouragement
    Eileen

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  4. Oh wow! This post could not have come at a better time. My husband is German, and we just got to the US for the summer. Quark is his favorite food. So lucky to have found your blog. I've been looking around, and I can't wait to see your future ideas.
    Katie

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  5. Thanks for this Rhonda, very timely! I've tried making yogurt three times in the past few weeks - the first time I used UHT milk - it set, but tasted of UHT milk (obviously!) so it wasn't very nice.

    The next two times it hasn't set at all.

    I was using instructions from elsewhere, which said to pretty much boil the milk, let it cool, add yogurt (and milk powder if you like - I did the third time but that didn't work either), then leave in a vacuum flask overnight.

    When I've got a day in the house I might try your method - although our oven is notoriously unreliable! I just love the idea of making yogurt and cheese.

    On the positive side, I tried ricotta from the Co op archives, and that worked brilliantly!

    Jenni

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  6. Please forgive my naiveness, but why do you put yogurt in something to make yogurt?

    And quark... new word to me, but similar to paneer?

    Thank you, I love tutorial with pics.

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  7. The bacteria in the yoghurt you add turns the rest of the milk into yoghurt too - you are innoculating the milk with good yoghurty bacteria :)


    *wanders off to make yoghurt, so she can make quark tomorrow :)*

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  8. Since I am from US or maybe that's not an excuse! What is quark? It looks interesting. Thanks!!

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  9. Hi Rhonda.
    I am a relatively new reader to your blog. I am enjoying it very much.
    I have a question and I don't know if you will answer it or not, but here goes.....
    With the swine flu starting to spread and people getting nervous about a global pandemic, what do you recommend keeping in your home for an emergency?(ie - food, supplies, etc.)
    Thank you!
    Louise

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  10. I just made yogurt today and would like to try making quark. I've never heard of it before; just looked it up on Wikipedia! Do you eat it by spreading it on crackers or bread? It looks delicious. Thank you for the tutorial!

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  11. Good morning Rhonda!
    Thank you for yet another great post ...
    Can you have quark while pregnant? My guess would be yes, because it is so fresh. I presume it falls into a different category than all the other soft cheeses we are told to avoid because of Listeria ...
    Have a wonderful day ...

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  12. Thanks for the great tutorial Rhonda. I make my own yoghurt so will give makng quark a go.

    I make my yoghurt in a yoghurt making flask. BUt I use yoghurt as the starter rather than the sachets you can buy. I doubt i'd have the time to use your method. Do you know whether your method makes more nutritious or firmer yoghurt?

    Cheers,
    Tricia

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  13. Hi Rhonda, I love to make homemade yoghurt and quark. I bought an easy-yo yoghurt maker a while ago (when it was on offer of course). I dont use their yoghurt powder though as it is too expensive but container is very useful. It is a large screw top plastic container which I mix the milk and yoghurt in. This then sits inside an insulated container which is full of hot water.
    It is quite simple to make somthing similar at home and it saves having to put the oven on to keep the yoghurt warm. The very large glass pickle jars (like the ones on your side bar) are good for mixing the yoghurt and milk in then this can be put in a jug or pan of hot water. Cover this with a clean cloth, then cover the whole thing with something to keep the heat in such as a couple of towels. After a few hours replace the hot water.
    I hope all your plans for the wedding are going well.

    Cheers, Eileen (in England).

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  14. Hi Rhonda, Just wondering if you had a receipe for the chick pea and veggie stew. Is it vegetarian? I'm always on the hunt for good vegetarian receipes without tomato. Thanks Deb.

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  15. Thanks Rhonda for the recipe. I just looked up an old post of yours regarding making yogurt at the beginning of this week and it worked fantastically. I am definitely going to try the quark - it isn't well known in the U.S. it seems (none of my friends or family have heard of it) but it sounds fantastically delicious (not to mention healthy). I love the taste of the homemade yogurt. Maybe it is my imagination but I can tell a difference in the taste. I am going to continue doing this! Thanks for the info on the whey - I might see if our chickens will like it as a treat - sounds healthy!

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  16. Good morning Rhonda, thanks for putting up this method. I haven't had much luck with yoghurt, I'll give this a try and let you know how it goes.
    Does Shane prefer to use dried or canned chickpeas in a stew? I'm making minestrone for tea -- it's very cold down here in the Illawarra today. Cheers, Rose

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  17. Sue, you can eat it on crackers or bread and toast.

    Rebecca, you pasturise the milk so it should be fine while pregnant.

    Tricia, if you use full cream milk it will be firm. And I always make sure I buy a good quality organic yoghurt as a starter.

    Debbie, it was vegetarian. I'll have to ask Shane what he put in it.

    Kimchi, the chickens love whey, most animals do as well. It would be good in your kimchi.

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  18. How nice of your son to make dinner!
    I have never made yogurt but would love to try!
    I think that I will try sometime this week...

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  19. Ah, I get it now... so, its kind of like making sourdough bread and using a starter to make more.

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  20. Hi Rhonda,

    Can you tell me if it is possible to use a slow cooker to make yogurt or would this be too warm. I am really looking forward to trying this. Thanks so much for this really good tutorial.

    Blessings Gail

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  21. Good luck everyone. Jenni, I hope this works for you.

    MF simple life journey, I add yoghurt because it contains the bacteria I want in the milk. Given warmth and time, the bacteria multiply, turning the milk into yoghurt. And paneer, is similar, a simple cheese, but quark contains no added acid.

    Gail, the slow cooker will be fine. Just check your temps and don't let it get too hot.

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  22. Awesome! I make my own yogurt, but I'm the only one in my house that eats it and I'm always trying to figure out creative ways to finish it before it goes bad... The quark sounds great! I've never heard of it before, but I'm surely going to try it. Thanks!

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  23. I have been making my own yogurt and quark for over a year now. I tried the oven method the first few times, but often got distracted and wasn't good about keeping the oven temp right - my 5 year old is good at having emergencies! I found a very inexpensive yogurt maker and love it. I figured it paid for itself after I made yogurt only a few times. I buy fresh unprocessed milk from a local farmer here in Minnesota and my yogurt turns out wonderful. I also save out some of my yogurt and use it as "starter" for my next batch (as long as I am making yogurt within a few days).
    Thank you for your wonderful post!

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  24. Thank you so much for the quark
    recipe. I made some the other day and it was perfect until I added
    some stuff I thought would be good.
    I'll try your suggestions.
    We don't have quark here. Wikipedia
    says."Although common in Europe the
    manufacturing of quark is rare in the United States."If I mentioned
    quark to anyone I know they wouldn't know what I was talking about. More would be familiar
    with the term"yogurt cheese" There
    is a cookbook called "Cooking the
    Yo-Chee Way" by Nicki and David
    Goldbeck(I think). They sell
    unnecessary contraptions to make it.I place a paper coffee filter
    in a sieve,place a big glob of
    yogurt in it,cover with a plate
    or something and let it drain
    overnight. It drains ok without a
    weight. I use non-fat yogurt but
    I'm sure the greater the fat
    content the better.I'm sure yours
    is better but this works for me.
    Your blog is the high light of my
    Monday thru Friday week.Sometimes
    when I am having a bad day at work,
    I give myself a lift thinking about
    your un-read blog waiting for me at
    home.
    Kris in KC/USA

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  25. Hi Rhonda,

    you don't have to put the yoghurt into the oven and watch the temperature all day!.

    Here's how to make it even simpler:

    Mix yoghurt and milk.
    Put the mix in a small bowl (I use a heat-resistant glass bowl).
    Place the bowl in a bigger bowl.
    Fill the space between the bowls with boiling water.

    Now carefully place the bowls into an isolated crate (something you use to keep drinks and food cool in summer) or a box of styrofoam or something similar. Put a towel underneath the bowls and cover it with towels, too.

    I make this in the evening. When opening the next morning, the yoghurt is perfect and cooled.

    So you would not have to watch the oven all day and use less energy, too.

    I'll try to make quark - here in germany it's much loved and used.

    Simple quark dessert:
    Mix quark with a little bit milk (so that it is smooth) and with sugar to taste and a dash of lemon juice. Pour over freshly picked strawberries or raspberries...mjam.

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  26. Excellent recipe and timing - I was thinking about quark at the weekend while planning some simple meals for the next month.

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  27. I just made yogurt last night. I am going to use it to make your scone recipe to take to work tomorrow with your lemon butter recipe I made over the weekend. I love lemon and that curd is really tasty! Thank you for sharing your recipes. I also made your dog biscuits and my girls love them. I'll make another batch of yogurt to try the quark. To keep my yogurt heated, I leave it in containers in the microwave with the light on. My microwave is over the stove and has a light underneath. I also use this to raise dough in the winter time.

    Thanks, again.

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  28. I've made yogurt for years without knowing the temperature mostly because that's how my grandmother and mother did it. I go by touch and it never failed (or sickened anybody) until recently when I used a store bought yogurt for starter for the first time in years, (a brand I used in the past) and it didn't set at all.
    I think the problem with yogurt not setting with this or any method is that in the U.S. at least, some cultures are engineered in a lab and now propriety (owned by companies with exclusive rights) so I wouldn't doubt that these cultures are engineered to prevent the consumer from making their own or else just make it very hit and miss at best. Just guessing here. I now use the powdered starter for consistent results when I don't have some of my own to use as starter.
    Also, Rhonda, your method looks very well organized. I have read about it but couldn't get the notion that it was complicated until your tutorial today, so thanks as always for being so concise! I might just try it your way sometime!

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  29. Thanks for yet another great recipe that has gone directly into my favorites link. I can't wait to try this.

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  30. Hi Rhonda,

    Sorry, this isn't to do with the current post -

    I was trying to find posts on menu planning, I'm sure I saw them somewhere here on Down To Earth, but I tried several variations of "Menu Planning" in the search box, to no avail.

    Is the Yahoo! search just not working or am I mistaken?

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  31. Rhonda, thank you so much for all you share. I have been reading your blog for a bit now and love it every day. You are inspiring and very encouraging to become more "simplified" in our living and thinking. Awhile back I had found a recipe for yogurt like yours made in the crockpot (slow cooker) putting the mix in a quart canning jar. You have to wrap the whole thing with a towel as the lid does not fit on. :) Now that I have seen the picture of yours in a pan, I may try just putting it in the crockpot. For those asking....your quark is like our cream cheese here in the states. May have just a bit more of a bite but basically the same. For a special treat on Easter, I baked long skinny bread, sliced it, added artichokes to half and my sweet zucchini relish to the other half. That was good. QUESTION FOR YOU: Can you ad honey or fruit to yogurt before you process it or does that hinder the process? Thanks again for all your encouragement. Janice

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  32. RHONDA WHAT HAPPEN TO THE HOMEMAKER TIPS AND THE WAY TO START A SIMPLE LIFE WHY DO YOU TAKE THAT OFF THAT IS WHAT MAKE YOUR BLOG SO NEAT????DEBRA LYNN

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  33. I have been making yogurt for a long time and this is what has worked for me: I found a old but clean styrofoam ice chest. It was about to go to the landfill. It has become my yogurt incubator. The oven method did not work for me because I would always let it get too hot or too cold. So now, I make the yogurt, put it in quart jars and place in the incubator (ice chest). I often fill the air space with towels or something wool to keep the heat next to the jars. Cover and set it aside and let it work. 4 hours or more later, open, tip the jars to see if all is set up and refrigerate. It has been great every time. Thank you Rhonda for all your good help.

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  34. Kadeeae, I don't plan my menus, although I may have mentioned it was a good thing to do. I rely more on what is growing in the garden and what is ready to be picked that day so menu planning doesn't work well for me. I think it's a great way to help with organisation and money saving though.

    DebraLyn, I lost some of my formatting on the weekend and haven't had time yet to replace it all. I'll put it all back when I have the time for it.

    It's good to see the many ways of making yoghurt. I have tried all the methods mentioned and the oven method works best for me. The main point is that you need to maintain a fairly consistent low heat for success. There are many ways to go about maintaining that heat, so find the way that works for you and stick with it.

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  35. Thank you for the wonderful instructions and pictures. Can you tell me a little more on what the final consistency should be? Is it similar to our sour cream? Or is it firmer than that.

    Warm Regards,
    Nicole

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  36. I'm not sure what your sour cream is like, Nicole. Yoghurt can be anything from a drink to a fairly solid lump. I like mine to hold its shape but soft and creamy when I put a spoon into it.

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  37. I thank you for your answer Rhonda. I made the yogurt using your directions and then the draining to make the quark. Super easy and my family loved it!

    Thank you so much for this new to us recipe,
    Nicole

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  38. Not sure if you can do this with your whey Rhonda, but yesterday afternoon I made a batch of cottage cheese using lemon juice, left the whey overnight in the fridge and then boiled and strained it through cotton this morning, to produce the most astonishingly tasty ricotta.

    I'm blogging about it at the moment and will have pictures and descriptions up shortly. I never thought for a second I would get anything decent just by boiling up the whey. Definitely homemade ravioli on the menu tonight.

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  39. DEAR RHONDA I FOUND THE TIPS THEY ARE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGES NOW I STAND CORRECT THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO. DEBRA LYNN

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  40. After seeing you make quark on here many times, I'm finally giving it a try!

    Next week I think I'll give yogurt a go. Just need to do some price comparisons to see how much money I'd actually save vs. buying it on sale.

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  41. Its great to make quark. I'm in UAE and i just miss it.

    Have a question for making quark:

    do i need to use fresh yoghurt or can i use normal yoghurt from the supermarket to make quark?

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  42. Just following links in your blog and thought I'd try this as previous attempts to turn my fresh from the house cow milk into yoghurt have failed. The chooks enjoyed it though :). When my yoghurt is acceptable I'm having a try at the quark. Thank you for this and thanks to those who left comments as it's answered a few questions I had.

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