31 January 2014
I love to visit our local farmers market. Sadly it is only held once a month, I wish it were more often, for me it has been a great way to meet some of my local farmers. I have used it as a means of getting to know them so that I can then visit their farms to buy direct from them in between times. A long time ago I started to buy wonderful organic cheese from a farmer who also sells organic raw milk from her farm, which I kept meaning to go and buy.......and each month the market would come round again and I still hadn't been. Then I bought a yogurt maker.
I eat a lot of yogurt. I make pancakes with it for breakfast, cook with it and have with fresh fruit most days. I was buying three 500g pots a week and at about £1.50 a pot it added up. So when someone on a forum was selling a little used yogurt maker I jumped at the chance. It is really easy to use, if you follow the instructions I find the yogurt a little runny so I have found, by chance, a better method. A method left as an anonymous comment on this blog which works really well. I heat the milk to 180°F or 82°C and keep it at that temperature for one hour. I do this by removing it from the heat and covering the pan to insulate it. After an hour, I remove the covers and allow the milk to cool to 112°F or 44°C at which point I pour it into the container that you make the yogurt in along with two tablespoons of yogurt (as a starter) and place in the yogurt maker for about ten hours. It comes out thick, I could strain it or remove the whey and make it thicker still but I like it as it is.
It makes a litre, roughly equivalent to two 500g pots of yogurt, from a litre of milk. I started off using the milk I was buying from the supermarket until I remembered about the local farm selling raw milk, so that is what I now use. Buying it direct from the farm costs 80p a litre, with a small amount of electricity added on I can make a litre of yogurt for under a £1. Without knowing all this my mum bought me the ideal Christmas present a book and few pieces pieces of equipment for making cheese, my adventures with raw milk continue!