(Yogurt recipe at the end of this post!)
Did I tell you the yogurt maker saga? I can’t remember, so, if I did, pretend this is all new, ok?
Back in the 80s, when I was (mostly) a kid, my mother had a Braun yogurt maker. It was a square plastic thing with 8 little glass cups inside of it. She’d pour some milky liquid into those cups, plug the box in, and eventually the cups would contain yogurt.
And oh, god, that yogurt was nasty. It was sour and tangy and it seemed like no matter what was added into the mix it tasted horrible. (I wasn’t really a fan of yogurt, anyway, but this was really, really icky!)
After a while, I guess, the taste become less painful and I started to like it and then my mom stopped making yogurt. I have no idea why. I don’t know what happened to the yogurt maker after that.
I read a number of blogs these days that revolve around DIY concepts – making your own clothes, say, or building a cabin by hand or … making yogurt at home.
Then I started getting a little fixated on the idea of making my own yogurt. I contemplated the “oven light” method and the “cooler” method. But I kept remembering that Braun yogurt maker from my childhood. The one that they no longer manufacture.
One day, while randomly browsing at Value Village, I saw one sitting on the shelf. But I hesitated; would I even use it? what if it didn’t work? When I returned to buy it, after discussing it with Coffee (who, btw, seemed perplexed as to why I needed to discuss it instead of just buying it), it was gone.
(On a side note, it’s worth pointing out that I get a little weird at Value Village (and all thrift stores, actually). I can find something absolutely awesome and this strange inner monologue takes over and convinces me that it’s not really worth the $2.99. Never mind that buying it new would be $50. Never mind that it’s perfect and the right size and the ideal colour and.. nope. I have no IDEA what that’s about.)
Thus began the Yogurt Maker Quest.
I bolted over to the small appliance section any time I was near a Value Village. Realistically, how many yogurt makers from 1980 were likely to appear? But I was dedicated to the cause.
And then, last weekend, there it was. Sitting there on the shelf like it was waiting for me.
The price tag was $10.
This time, instead of walking away, I picked it up and carried it over to Coffee and expressed my hesitation. He expressed his own feeling that I was being an idiot and should just buy the thing so I could stop obsessively checking for one. I expressed that he was probably right but… and he expressed that he would just pay the $10 and get it over with.
I hugged the yogurt maker. We brought it home.
After a good scrubbing (ew, sour milk smell) and after running the cups through the dishwasher, I made my first batch. It turned out really well – with the right taste and texture.
Since Braun doesn’t sell yogurt makers anymore, and since there were no manuals or recipes included with the machine, I had to do some googling to get info. I found quite a few people talking about buying the yogurt maker at a garage sale (ha!) so I’m putting my recipe here for anyone who’s interested.
The recipe is:
4 cups of milk
1/4 cup of plain, non-gelatin yogurt
1. Heat the milk to between 100 and 110 degrees F.
2. Stir the yogurt into it.
3. Pour it all into the little cups.
4. Put the cups into the machine.
5. Turn the machine on and wait at least 6 hours.
6. Put lids on the cups and put them in the fridge for a few hours.
7. Eat the yogurt. Mix stuff into it if you like.
It’s seriously that easy.
1. I used skim milk. You can use any milk you like – whole, 2%, goat, whatever. I used Astro Balkan-style plain yogurt that contains no gelatine. It’s important that you avoid gelatine.
2. I’ve read that a lot of people heat the milk up WAY higher and then let it cool down to 100-110F. This is to kill bacteria that might be in the milk.
3. You can also add jam and things to the cups before you pour the milky stuff in (pre-‘cooking’) if you know what you want.
4. I stir a bit of jam into the yogurt after I scoop it into a bowl to eat. This is beyond heavenly and it also means that each cup can be differently flavoured for my particular mood.
5. The longer you leave the yogurt in the machine, the more ‘tart’ the taste. I did 7 hours and it was perfect, I think.
6. If you reserve one of the glass cups full of yogurt you can use THAT to make your next batch instead of buying more at the store. You can apparently do this up to 8 times before it loses potency.
7. You can also buy commercial “yogurt starters” to use instead of buying the plain yogurt at the store. I have no idea what that’s all about, so I can’t comment.