DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

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19 October 2016

Yoghurt revisited

A few readers asked about yoghurt starter cultures after yesterday's post so I thought I'd add to the information here. It really is a very good way of making yoghurt.  I buy my culture from Green Living in Brisbane. They charge $16.95 for enough culture to make 100 litres. The culture is highly concentrated so even though you have the capacity to make that amount, it's a tiny parcel. I bought sour cream culture too and measuring spoons so I wouldn't over-measure and waste the culture.  Every batch I've made has been perfect. I don't have any affiliation with this company but I have been impressed with their fast and efficient service.






When you have your starter culture, you make yoghurt in the usual way but you use the culture instead of adding live, fresh yoghurt to your mix. If you haven't made yoghurt before, here is an old post on the process, although now I use the Easiyo in the final stage to ferment the milk and I use starter culture instead of adding fresh yoghurt. For those unfamiliar with the Easiyo process, it's plastic one litre jar that fits inside an insulated container. Just before you place the filled jar into the container, you fill the base of it with boiling water. Sealing the jar inside the container with the hot water overnight gives you a simple and easy way to make yoghurt.


When the yoghurt is made, you can use it to make a simple fresh cheese called Labneh. All you need to do is to sit the yoghurt in a strainer with a loose weave cloth over it and allow it to drain for a few hours while it sits in the fridge. If you want to hurry the process, put a plate on top of the covered cheese with a large tin of fruit on top. That will press the cheese down while the whey is draining off. When most of the whey is gone what remains will be a much thicker yoghurt that, when shaped, makes a delicious cheese.  

At this point, it's over to you to add the flavourings you prefer. I always add ½ teaspoon of salt to the savoury Labnah, plus chilli, pepper, herbs, finely diced cucumbers or capsicum. Other flavour choices are dill, green onions, mint, honey, figs, candied fruit, jam etc. Hanno loves it on bread and crackers and it's a great replacement for store-bought cream or cottage cheese.  Don't throw out that whey. You can use it in your baking. Cakes, scones and bread made with whey are excellent and nutritious.

Labnah will last up to three weeks in the fridge.

I have a dairy chapter in my last book, The Simple Home, which contains several other dairy concoctions that are easy to make and delicious.

20 comments:

  1. I live in Victoria and buy cheese making products through Green Living, their service and advice is excellent.

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  2. Hi Rhonda, I was also going to ask where you sourced your culture from, thanks for the info and have a great day.
    Fi

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  3. Lovely post to explain how simple it is to make yourself,
    I have been using an Easiyo for years and it works well,I don't use the packets anymore, just make plain from scratch.
    You can usually pick up the Easiyo containers from an op shop and I swap the plastic jar for a glass one the same size.
    I have never made cheese before so today is the day to try this simple method...lunch sorted !

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  4. Mmmmm, your yogurt cheese looks fantastic!

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  5. Thanks for the inspiration Rhonda. I must get back into making labneh now that the weather is warming up.
    I'd love to know how you make the sour cream. Does it have to be pure cream? Or can it be the thickened kind. Also I saw the instructions on the Green Living sachet which is all American speak, but it mentions light cream or half and half - could I use full fat cream?
    Thank you!

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    1. Jay, sour cream is another simple process and it's very similar to making yoghurt. I always use pure, full fat cream. One you make it you won't go back to commercial sour cream.

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    2. Thank you Rhonda. I have ordered the sour cream culture and plan to pick up some cream from the local dairy once it arrives.

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  6. Thanks, Rhonda. I will have to give this a go.
    Jan from Bridges

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  7. Hi Rhonda,
    My husband makes the Italian version of labneh - cagliata. To make the straining process super easy he purchased a couple of very inexpensive reusable cheese strainers. I can find out where he bought them from (in Melbourne) if anyone is interested.
    Spud.

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  8. Thanks for the extra information Rhonda - your yogurt looks delicious and I'm looking forward to having a go myself.

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  9. Hi Rhonda,
    Thank you so much for the information on the yoghurt. Will give it a try.
    Donna from Elimbah.

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  10. Thanks for this yoghurt post, Rhonda. I needed a bit of a kickstart to get into making yoghurt here at home. Ages ago, I bought a contraption for making yoghurt and it's been sitting in the cupboard here along with the best of my intentions. Best put intention into action now!

    Meg

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  11. Hi Rhonda, thanks for sharing this info. Just wondering whether you use the plastic jar that came with your Easiyo maker, and if so, do you have to sterilise the plastic container & lid in the pot of boiling water as per your old post on how you used to make yoghurt? Not sure if this would wreck the plastic or not, so wanted to check what you do first! Many thanks, Kelly

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    1. I do use the plastic jar, Kelly, but I've been looking around for a glass jar to replace it. You need to have everything as clean as possible because you only want the beneficial bacteria in the yoghurt. If they're not clean/sterile, yeast could grow before you finish the yoghurt and you'd have to discard it. Until I find a jar that fits, I'm happy to use the easiyo jar straight from the dishwasher cycle.

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    2. I use a 1 litre coconut oil glass jar that fits perfectly in the Easiyo maker

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  12. Hi Rhonda.. for the last year or so I have used frozen cubes of yoghurt as my culture. I bought a small pot of live yoghurt last year, cultured a preserving jar full and froze it in ice cubes. Now I thaw a cube before adding it to my milk and culture overnight. Then I use that culture for a month or so until it begins to taste too sour and then i move on to another cube.. I may never have to buy a culture again!

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  13. I can't get over the creaminess of the yoghurt in the top photo, Rhonda! YUM.

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  14. Hi Rhonda,
    I live in India and yogurt-making is a daily ritual for us. Since we do not eat meat or fish on a daily basis, yogurt is a very good source of protein. We get fresh milk every morning and whatever is left at the end of the day is poured into a steel/plastic/ceramic container with a teaspoonful of fresh yogurt. By the time I get up in the morning, the yogurt is ready and moved to the refrigerator to prevent souring. If our yogurt goes too sour, we borrow a little fresh yogurt from our neighbors to make a fresh batch. No special equipment required.

    In addition to this, I skim the cream off the top of the yogurt after it is in the fridge for sometime and collect it in a jar. When the jar is full, I put it in the blender with cold water, whip it for a minute or two and get fresh butter.

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    1. Hi Sreekala, I've never heard of butter being made that way but it makes sense to me. In Australia, most people eat uncultured butter but I love cultured butter and sometimes make a batch from cream with a culture added. Thanks for your comment, you've taught me something. :- )

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  15. Thanks for the extra post on yoghurt making Rhonda. Ordered my culture last night.
    Blessings Gail.

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