Should you boil your milk to make your yogurt?
The correct answer to this question is, it depends. There are a couple of things that should be considered, which are the texture of your yogurt and the milk you’re using to make your yogurt. Also, it’s easy to get distracted and scorch your milk, which does not improve the flavor.
The texture of your yogurt
Boiling and cooling your milk before making yogurt does in some people’s opinion improve the feel of your homegrown yogurt. However, I have not found this to be true even though I’ve seen much literature about it. I think it’s the quality of the milk product and the yogurt culture to use to make your yogurt which has the most significant impact on the texture of your yogurt. Using milk with plenty of solids will reduce the amount of waste liquid produced by the yogurt culture and, therefore, the overall bitterness of the yogurt product. Much the same thing for the yogurt culture, not all yogurt cultures are equal. So, find a good culture which you like and stick with it. Choosing the best yogurt culture for you may require some experimentation with different cultures before you settle on your final choice.
The milk you use to create your yogurt
These days there are several milk products and milk substitute products to choose from to make your yogurt, but when working with real milk, it breaks down into two categories: pasteurize and raw.
Pasteurized milk has already been heat treated, so there is no real need to boil the milk to start your yogurt. Using thick milk, such as fat-free half-and-half to enrich your milk can add significantly to the density and creaminess of your final yogurt. To make yogurt from pasteurized milk, just, bring it to room temperature, add your culture, and give it a little time to bloom, then you can add it to your yogurt warmer or wherever you keep your temperature constant to allow your yogurt culture to mature.
Raw milk must be boiled or home pasteurized for food safety reasons. There are many potential hazards when working with raw milk, which is why when its distributed for commercial use it is pasteurized. Some of those health hazards, such as E. coli can be fatal. So, whenever you work with raw milk, you should bring it to a slow boil for about five minutes; then let it cool. Once cool, add your culture, and give it a little time to bloom, then you can add it to your yogurt warmer or wherever you keep your temperature constant to allow your yogurt culture to mature.
Home pasteurization involves using a lower temperature than boiling, but it does take longer, and attention must be paid to maintaining the appropriate temperature throughout the pasteurization. For best results, raw milk must be heated slowly during pasteurization. Use a double-boiler. To do this:
- Phil the bottom of the double-boiler with water and bring it a boil.
- Pour the raw milk into the top half of the double-boiler. Heat it over the boiling water, stirring thoroughly and consistently throughout the heating process.
- Use a probe or thermometer to determine when the temperature reaches 165° F. and keep it at 165° F for 15 seconds or more.
- Set the top half of the double- boiler containing the hot milk in a container of cold water and. Keep the water cold by adding ice as necessary.
- Continuing to stir slowly and consistently, until the milk is cold, then use immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Raw milk can be pasteurized in a microwave oven by heating the milk to 165°F. Your milk heating temperature should be verified with a probe or thermometer. Stir the milk periodically during the heating period to equalize the temperature. Once hundred 65°F is achieved, the same 15 seconds or more rule must be applied. Throughout. Cool as directed. Pour the hot milk into a pan or dish which is in a container of cold water and keep the water cold by adding ice. Continue to stir until the milk is cold, then use immediately or store in the refrigerator.
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