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Home Cooking 26

Thinking of trying homemade yogurt; 3 questions first

skyline | Sep 6, 201102:29 PM

We don't own a yogurt maker but I'm thinking of trying homemade yogurt and have been researching topics and instructions here and elsewhere -- and have a couple of questions.

I want to use our usual milk, which is an rBST-free product called SkimPlus (made by Farmland Dairies and available in the Northeast/MidAtlantic states and in Florida). It is skim milk that has the same creaminess and texture of 1% milk, not watery at all. (really!!)

They do it by adding extra milk proteins -- which also gives it the higher protein and calcium content -- and am wondering, would this be the same as adding powdered milk to the "brew" for homemade yogurt? Would I still need to add powdered milk when using this product for yogurt?

Also it's ultrapasteurized; how does that affect the initial scalding/cooking process of the yogurt?

The challenge will be finding the requisite warm place for X number of hours. Our ovens are electric so no residual warmth there. No oldfashioned cast iron heating radiators in our house either. When I make yeast bread, I usually turn one oven to the lowest setting (170) for 5 minutes when I first start getting everything together to make the dough, then turn it off and leave the door shut, and put the bowl of dough in there for the risings. But it wouldn't hold a consistent temp long enough for the yogurt.

I have heat mats that I use to start seeds in late winter, and also a thermostat that works by adjusting the temperature of the mat according to a set temp monitored by a probe (which would be put into one of the seedling pots). The temperature range is from 68 to 108 F, within 2-3 degrees. So for yogurt the probe would need to go into the "mix" but does the container need to be sealed airtight while it's doing its thing? If so, I couldn't use such a setup for the yogurt.

Is 105 - 108 F the right temperature though? Or not warm enough? It's definitely warmer than anyplace available in our house though!

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