Sunday, February 04, 2007

yogurt and sourdough

while i'm on a roll ~
i've finally made yogurt i like a lot!!
i've been making it pretty regularly, using Organic Pastures raw whole milk, and Strauss whole milk yogurt as the culture.
i had been heating it only to the minimum temperature so as to keep the beneficial rawness in action, and wondering whether i was just not going to produce satisfactory yogurt that was turning out . . passable..
but ~ the last time i was determined. i let that baby sit in its little cooler beside the radiator for days. i added more starter, warmed up the container again, and let it sit some more. what i got was *so* fermented, it was sparkling. i'd say ~ alcoholic to the nose. i tasted it. it had a bite, alright. but had a good texture, and i grew to like it.
well ~ this most recent batch i used *that* as my starter culture, and voila: i had a good textured, tasty yogurt in two days! the "curd" had filled up the whole of the jar, with whey just floating around it (others had been 1/3-1/2 full of curd ~ runny at that ~ and the rest whey). some pretty cream on top, the custardy-curd held up on my spoon, and was ... tasty!!
i am encouraging a yogurt culture that is tailored to our own specific yog-ing situation. :-D
at first i attempted to mask that flamboyant tartness with something sweet, but i've since embraced it.

it might help that i am growing accustomed to other sour flavors, as with the taste of homemade sourdough bread b/c
i have finally figured out how to keep a sourdough culture!!!
this process had been elusive to me. i followed the suggestions i'd read and heard, and either i a) didn't have faith, b) didn't know what i was supposed to be looking for, c) wasn't using fresh enough flour, or d) wasn't feeding it often enough or ~ e) any combination of the above.

i consulted Sourdough Home, at , and found that the starting "recipe" i was using was alright:
1/4 cup filtered water
a little less than 1/4 cup fresh flour, rye works well to get it started, preferably freshly ground
mix it up, store it in a jar with a cloth over the top to protect from flies,
keep it in a warm place (in winter, i've been keeping it snuggled up near the radiator.. with the cats.).
every twelve hours, pour some of it out, and feed it some more flour and water. it should show little bubbles within a few days. you might not notice it as "active" but give it time, have faith, and be patient.

it worked. maybe i just believed, or maybe other factors were involved, but i have a lively starter that is fun to watch, sometimes like a lava lamp. it smells pleasant ~ not "rotten" or "off",
and it makes good bread!!

photo: successful yogurt. :)

1 comment:

Mama Jamie said...

I love making our own yogurt. It's so yummy. I am still looking for raw milk.