Homemade thick and creamy yoghurt

I had this beautiful creamy yoghurt in a restaurant recently and realised that the real thing is nothing like anything that is sold in the supermarkets. I resolved to try and make it at home and this is my version – after a few experiments – not all of which went well !

This is a great treat to have for breakfast with some quick homemade lemon curd  and maybe some berries or cherries sprinkled on top. It tastes nothing like the shop bought yoghurt – not even the great Total greek yoghurt comes near this for thickness and creaminess.

Ingredients

400 ml full fat milk
100 ml single cream
3 tbsp milk powder (skimmed is fine)
1tbsp caster sugar (optional)
3 tbsp natural unsweetened yogurt (we use Straight up from the Collective Diary as it has lots of good bacteria)

You will need a clean heavy saucepan or casserole, muslin or cheesecloth and an instant thermometer. We use one with is also a stirrer and can be kept i nthe pan

Method
Pour the milk and cream into the saucepan and heat to around 46C, then mix in the milk powder and sugar. Stir until the milk is dissolved and them put back onto the heat until it is just boiling then remove from the heat and let it cool to around 38C ie blood temperature, (you should be able to stick your finger in it and leave it without discomfort).
Add a few tablespoons of the warm milk to the yoghurt and mix well. Pour this mixture onto the warm milk and incorporate gently. Swirl and pan around gently to mix – do not stir as you will break the delicate yoghurt down. Put the lid on a leave somewhere warm, ideally at circa 40C.

A bread proving draw, back of the Aga, an airing cupboard or a heated plate warmer will do the trick. Leave for at least 4 hours, then taste to see if it has the flavour and thickness you want. You can leave it longer even overnight and it will get thicker , but it will also get more tangy – it depends on the flavour you want.

If you want it mild but thick – take the yoghurt and seive it to remove the whey. Set a sieve over a large bowl, line with muslin or cheesecloth, then add the yoghurt. Leave to drain in the fridge until you have a thick creamy yoghurt in the muslin and the whey in the bowl.

Don’t throw the whey away – its great in bread making (use in place of water), and makes great scones, cakes and soups.

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