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Nothing Plain About It Bulgarian Yogurt

Nothing Plain About It Bulgarian Yogurt 4.000

Linda Davidson/The Washington Post

Aug 6, 2014

You will need an insulated container or yogurt maker to incubate the cultured milk; the directions below include information for each. You can use a cooler or a Thermos, or you can buy a yogurt maker online at retailers such as Amazon or Cultures for Health. You also need a properly calibrated thermometer for the accurate measurement of milk temperatures, and enough glass jars or containers to hold 1 quart of yogurt total.

Whole, low-fat or nonfat milk may be used in this recipe, but don’t use alternative milks, such as soy or almond, which require a different technique.

First make sure to clean all equipment with dish soap and hot water. You do not need to sterilize the equipment. Make sure to heat your jars and/or choice of incubator before placing the cultured milk in them.

Make Ahead: The cultured milk needs to sit at room temperature for at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours. The finished yogurt needs to sit at room temperature for 2 hours, then in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to 1 month.

Where to Buy: This creamy, somewhat tart European-style yogurt calls for a Bulgarian heirloom starter, available at Cultures for Health (www.culturesforhealth.com/bulgarian-yogurt-starter.html) for $12.99 for two freeze-dried packets; each one makes 1 quart of yogurt. The resulting yogurt can then be reused indefinitely as a starter for future batches. (Alternatively, you can use a commercial yogurt from the grocery store. Just make sure it contains live active cultures.)


Servings:
4 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-8 servings; makes 1 quart

Ingredients
  • 1 quart whole, low-fat or nonfat milk (see headnote)
  • 1 packet (0.04 ounces) Bulgarian yogurt starter (may substitute 1 tablespoon room-temperature cultured yogurt (see headnote)

Directions

Fill a sink or a container large enough to hold a saucepan with a few inches of ice water.

Pour the milk into a medium saucepan with a thermometer clipped to the side, positioning its top away from the hot metal. Gradually heat the milk over medium heat to 180 degrees, stirring occasionally with a wooden or metal spoon. Keep the milk at a steady 180 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat as needed, to evaporate some of the milk's liquid. You'll notice light bubbling and a small decrease in the level of milk.

Transfer the saucepan to the ice-water bath (with the thermometer still attached), making sure the water doesn’t spill over the sides of the saucepan. Stir the milk occasionally as it cools. Once the milk temperature drops to 120 degrees, transfer the saucepan to the counter to cool further.

Once the milk reaches 115 degrees, transfer 1 cup of it into a small bowl, along with the starter; whisk thoroughly until well incorporated. Immediately return the cultured milk mixture to the remaining warm milk in the saucepan, whisking so the cultures are distributed evenly.

For a yogurt maker: Follow the manufacturer’s directions for incubating the cultured milk.

For a Thermos: Warm the inside of the Thermos with hot water, then let it drip dry. Transfer the warm cultured milk to a pitcher or large liquid measuring cup with a spout. Pour the milk into the Thermos, then seal the container and place it in a warm spot. Let it sit at room temperature, undisturbed, for at least 5 hours. At that point, check to see whether the mixture has set to form yogurt. If not, reseal the container and let it sit at room temperature, undisturbed, for up to 12 hours, checking every hour. For yogurt that is more tart, leave the milk in the Thermos longer, up to 24 hours.

Transfer the yogurt to whatever jars you're using. Seal them and let them stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Then transfer the the jars to the refrigerator to rest for at least 6 hours before serving.

For an insulated cooler: Fill it with a few inches of water heated to between 110 and 115 degrees; add warm or cool water to reach the desired temperature.

Transfer the warm cultured milk to a pitcher or large liquid measuring cup with a spout. Pour the milk into the jar(s), then seal them and place in the warm water. Close/cover the cooler; let it sit, undisturbed, in a warm spot for at least 5 hours. At that point, check to see whether the mixture has set to form yogurt. If not, reseal the container and let it sit at room temperature, undisturbed, for up to 12 hours, checking every hour. For yogurt that is more tart, leave the milk in the cooler longer, up to 24 hours.

Transfer the jars of yogurt to the counter; let them sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate them for at least 6 hours before serving.


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Recipe Source

Adapted from recipes by Sandor Ellix Katz, author of “The Art of Fermentation," (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012), and Cultures for Health.

Tested by Tim Carman.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 8, using whole milk): 70


% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 4g 6%

Saturated Fat: 3g 15%

Cholesterol: 10mg 3%

Sodium: 50mg 2%

Total Carbohydrates: 6g 2%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 6g

Protein: 4g


*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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