Vietnamese Style Homemade Yogurt
Please don't let my lengthy notes deter you from making this. It really is simpl
1/2 galwhole milk
28 ozsweetened condensed milk
1 tsppure vanilla extract
1/4 tspbulgarian yogurt starter (dry) or 1/4 cup pre-made yogurt with active live cultures
How to Make Vietnamese Style Homemade Yogurt
- Heat the 1/2 gallon of whole milk in a double boiler until it reaches a temperature of 195 F. Continue to heat the milk for 10 minutes, holding the temp at 195 F or higher.
Be sure to stir or whisk the milk periodically to make bubbles on top so it doesn't form a skin on the surface.
I use a double boiler with a steamer set inside so I don't scorch the milk. If you scorch the milk, you will have to throw it out and start again or your yogurt will taste nasty and burnt.
- Continue stirring, or whisking, the milk until you bring the temperature down to 110 F. You can speed this process up by placing your pan of milk into an ice bath and stirring it.
NOTE: It's very important to bring your milk temp down to 112 - 110 F. If your milk is hotter, you run the risk of killing your culture and your won't get yogurt.
- Add your vanilla or whatever flavor you like and stir until combined. I use my homemade Tahitian Vanilla.
- Add your Yogurt culture and gently mix for 4 minutes.
I used a dry Bulgarian Starter Culture - 1/4 tsp so that I could continue to use the yogurt I made as the starter for my batches to come.
If you don't have a dry culture, you can use a store-bought Plain Greek Yogurt. Just be sure it says it contains live cultures on the container.
If you're using the store-bought yogurt, place1/4 cup into a small bowl, add some of the milk mixture and stir until smooth, then dump the culture into the pot of milk and gently stir for 4 minutes.
- Pour your cultured milk into mason jars, baby food jars, a glass bowl with 2-3 inch sides, whatever you want to use to incubate your yogurt. ***NOTE: If you're using store-bought yogurt, or your homemade yogurt, as your starter, be sure to strain the mixture as you pour it into your incubation containers. You don't want any lumps going into your jars/dishes.***
I have used three 1-quart Mason jars with their lids and have had really good results. The best results I've had though have been using 8 oz mason jars and these Life Factory Glass containers; amazon.com/...owl+with+lid+oven+safe
Any glass container with a lid will work. Don't use metal as the milk will not ferment appropriately, if at all. Using a container that's about 3 inches deep makes a really creamy, thick yogurt.
- If you're using a yogurt maker, place your jars inside and follow your manufacturers directions.
If, like me, you don't own a yogurt maker, I've found the best way to incubate your culture is in a hard-sided cooler. To do this, you'll need a cooler that will hold your jars, 4 hand towels and a heating pad.
To prepare my cooler, I dump the boiling water from my double boiler in it until I'm ready to start incubating my jars. I then dump the water out, put a towel in the bottom, add my jars, place towels around the sides to keep them warm and snug. I twist my jar lids so they are just tight. You don't want them to tight because you want air to get out. I then place my last towel on top and close the cooler.
Place the cooler on a heating pad set on low and let it "cook" for about 5 hours, then check to see if your yogurt has set by tilting a jar slightly to see if it's still liquid. If it's still liquid, let it continue cooking for another 2 hours and check it again. Repeat this process every couple of hours until your yogurt has set. My yogurt set in 6 hours, but this will vary depending on your culture.
If you don't have a cooler, pace the heating pad under a blanket and set your jars on top. Wrap the blanket around the jars so they are well insulated.
You can also place your jars into an oven with the inside light on. Place your jars as close to the light as possible and check them at the same time intervals.
- Once you tip your jar and find your yogurt has set, open each jar and wipe out any condensation, then put them in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to cool off and firm up. Once they're cool, they're ready to eat. You can eat this while still warm, but it's thicker, creamier and more tasty once cold.
- I like making a fruit compote to top this yogurt...
1 lb fruit of your choice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup water
1 tsp corn starch
Put all the ingredients into a small pot and mix well.
Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and cook until your desired consistency is reached.
I've found that mashing the fruit a bit with a potato masher helps thicken the mixture.
Once done, remove from the heat and put into your storage container.
Let it come to room temp and store it in the fridge to put on your yogurt.
I've done this with apples, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches and bananas.
I should note that the bananas did not work well as a compote because they darkened and don't hold up well. If I want bananas with my yogurt, I just chop up some banana on it.
- Recipe at a glance...
1. Heat 1/2 gallon whole milk to 195 F
2. Hold temp for 10 mins
3. Cool milk to 110 - 112 F
4. Add culture
5. Mix gently 4 minutes
6. Put cultured milk into incubation containers
7. Incubate for 5 hours and check for set. If not set continue incubating
8. If set, wipe out condensation from lids and place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours to cool