The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Natural yoghurt and sourdough baking

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

Natural yoghurt and sourdough baking

The fascination of culturing yeasts and bacteria will be familiar to every sourdough baker.

I've been enjoying a day off in lieu of a working weekend with the pleasure of baking some bread and stocking up on some natural yoghurt.

The process couldn't be simpler.  Fresh milk and some live yogurt culture and some basic kitchen equipment, including a food thermometer and somewhere warm are the main requirements.

The method is easy, and these instructions from The Kitchn, are as good as any: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-yogurt-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-125070.

I've found that 220ml tulip-shaped jars from Weck (available from Amazon) are perfect for attractively presented individual servings, and as I already have a Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer (http://brodandtaylor.com/folding-proofer/) maintaining a temperature of 110°F (43°C) is easy, though the process is completely satisfactory if all you have is a warm spot, or the ability to run your oven at a similar temperature. [* See note below]

If the miracle of leavened bread continues to excite you, then the gentle action of live culture to transform milk into thick creamy yoghurt shouldn't be far behind.

Happy baking (and yoghurt culturing) to you all. Colin.

* Note: Unlike my photograph, Brød & Taylor suggest that you do not place jars of yoghurt in the centre of the folding proofer, where temperatures may be higher than the rest of the chamber.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I just got a Brød & Taylor proofer and was looking at their yoghurt formulas.  It does sound like fun.

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

I have that proofer and found it to be great for also making yoghurt. It is easy, delicious and a nice compliment to the bread routine.

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

Hi Edo Bread. Yes, it works really well. May as well make the most of it when it comes out of the box for some baking. Best, Colin.

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

Hi Floydm. The Brød & Taylor proofer works really well for both bread and yoghurt. Hope you get loads of use out of yours & look forward to seeing more of your very impressive loaves. Happy baking. Colin.

drogon's picture
drogon

I'll need to resurrect my old blog, but in there I did a thing of geek yoghurt making as I used to make a lot of my own - however my way was just ye-olde way with a big (wide mouth) stainless steel vacuum flask. Heat the milk up to 80C, chill it quickly to 43C, add a dolop of live culture, transfer to flask, leave it 8 hours. Job done.

(gently pour out the green liquid to make greek style, or stir it in for a thinner mix)

-Gordon

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

Hi Gordon, the method you describe works really well too.  I've also done it with glass jars on a 40°C setting in the oven with individual glass jars standing on a baking tray.  Some guides suggest making in a Dutch oven, leaving it in a switched-off oven starting at a similar temperature.  It's all so simple.

For any readers alarmed by the idea of yoghurt with green liquid in it, it's whey - and looks like thick water with a slight yellow/green tint.  I find that if there is a little whey in the yoghurt at the end of the culturing time, it is often re absorbed once the yoghurt is cooled and refrigerated.

Best wishes, Colin

rgconner's picture
rgconner

No whey!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

SS pot i heat the milk in.  Cool it over an ice bath to 115 F and then stir in the culture and on the pad it goes for 12 hours.  Then drain off the extra liquid in a colander in the fridge and the Greek yogurt is ready.  The pad is good for keeping the levain and dough just right in the winter too. 

happy baking 

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

This sounds like a great no-fuss method for making a single batch of yoghurt, though possibly a bit more messy for making individual sized servings. Thanks for sharing. Best, Colin,

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I bought Matsoni and Villis (2 mesophilic varieties) from Cultures For Life. Dairy milk of choice (I use 1%), dollop from the last batch stirred into a pint jar and 12-18 hrs at room temp (anything above 65-70F). Voila-yogurt. If I want it thicker I add a little dried milk powder with the culture and if I want it Greek style, I strain it after it has cultured until it is as thick as I like. I also keep kefir grains.

If you think dairy culture is fun-kimchi (or sauerkraut or any vegetables) is great. And so easy!

 

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

Hi. I usually add skimmed milk powder to my fresh milk, but forgot on this occasion. It will be interesting to see how much of a difference it makes.  Coffe filter papers are supposed to be good for straining yoghurt, if made in a single container. Many thanks, Colin.

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

While you are at it you might as well make your own creme fraiche, sour cream, cream cheese, mascarpone, cultured butter or buttermilk.  All easy breezy just like yogurt making and you can choose how much fat etc you desire based on what you use as a base for the cultures to ferment away in.

 

:*)

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

What great suggestions. Thanks for mentioning them! Best wishes, Colin.

Les Nightingill's picture
Les Nightingill

let me add labneh to that list too, less well-known, very easy and tasty

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

take the whey and add a pinch or two of unsweetened drink flavouring (Kool-aid) or sliced lemons or limes.   Crushed mint?    

Serve on ice!  :P

We had 110°F or 43.6°C yesterday here in Austria!  I think that's a record for my area.  Sure am glad for the thick insulated house walls!  Hard keeping Dolly inside, she fakes wanting out only to lie in the sun baking herself.  Silly hot dog.  

Cucumbers are building up and only two plants.  Will be fermenting pickles soon.

aroma's picture
aroma

....with a wide-mouthed stainless steel vacuum flask.  However, I have just received a Brod & Taylor Proofer and am tempted to try their method BUT I make just 1 litre at a time so it does seem a bit of a waste of energy and we all need to think about the environment these days.  

Have any of you tried incorporating home-made yoghurt into your bread receipes???   If you have, I'd be interested to know the results.

Cheers 

 

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

Hi Gordon, I have only one tried yoghurt in a yeasted loaf. The recipe was described as an alternative way of getting a sourdough taste. It was ok, but was part of the reason why I began researching real sourdough baking and been enjoying learning ever since. Happy baking! Colin.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

but usually i out yogurt whey for some of all the liquid which fortifies the bread with extra protein either way..  The bread comes out with a distinct yogurt tang too.   

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Didn't do it on purpose, thought I had regular.  Bought it for salad dressing, drank it instead.  

Wonder what it would be like in that blueberry braid dough.  

Colin, are you using the rubber rings under your lids?  If not, why not?

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

Hi MiniOven, sorry for the late reply to your question. No I'm not using the rubber seals. As it happens, by the time the yoghurt has fermented and cooled, there's a usually a watertight seal in the containers - they just go into the fridge, and last up to two weeks, without spoiling.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I just had some yoghurt with cooked elderberry sauce (I took out the seeds) poured over the top.   Mmmmm good!  I had forgotten how good that combo can be.   We have such tiny apples this year, I'm pickling them with elderberry, cider vinegar sugar and spices.  They will turn out naturally deep dark red from the berries.  Tomorrow's project.  Holiday delights.  :)

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

Those combinations sound delicious. Happy pickling tomorrow! Colin

hanseata's picture
hanseata

The whey can be used for Dan Lepard's tasty Pumpkin Whey Bread, and while you are at it, you can try making a starter from some leftover yogurt with active cultures, having a little fun with sourdough.

Happy fermenting and baking,

Karin

Colin_Sutton's picture
Colin_Sutton

Hi Karin, thanks for the recipe suggestions and apologies for the depayed reply. Your Pumpkin and Whey bread from the link in your post looks amazing and your fermented alternatives to a regular sourdough made very interesting reading. Thank you for both. Best wishes and happy fermenting and baking to you too! Colin.