Seeing as I have this new fandangled multi-cooker, with a yoghurt setting no less, I figured I should try making my own yoghurt. Never done it before, seemed straight forward enough. We also go through more than a 500g tub of Mundella a week (at $5/tub!). It’s crazy delicious yoghurt, so if I could somehow reproduce that texture as well, that would be amazing (and cost effective).
The UK Optimum Pressure-Cook Pro book has a basic recipe but they put the milk straight into the bowl and hit start. Really? It’s just dump and go? But all that I’ve read about making yoghurt involves heating the milk up first. Even the InstantPot people heat their milk up first.
Looking into this further, it seems that food science people say scalding the milk denatures the proteins which results in thicker yoghurt, and also apparently kills off any microbes that may compete with the yoghurt culture. Which essentially leads to the commonly accepted process of yoghurt making to be:
- Heat the milk to ~80C
- Cool the milk to ~45C
- Add the starter culture
- Ferment the mixture for 6 hours
As a non-food science person, I read this, nod quietly, and determine that I need to test both methods side-by-side to actually see what happens. Because, science, and also I’ve been heating the milk first, so if I can save time by skipping step 1 and 2, I’ll take it.
Complete segue here. I love my Range Thermometer by Supermechanical. I got the first iteration through Kickstarter and it’s great. I hook up one of my old iPhones and set the target temperature on the app, and an alarm goes off when it gets there. Based on the rate of change, it also gives you an estimate of how long it’ll take. I’ve got both the sharp-ended one for meats and the round-ended one for everything else. They’re especially useful because our conventional gas oven is weird and inconsistent.
But I digress. In my latest run of yoghurt, I divided my milk and did steps 1-4 for one portion, and only 3-4 for the other. Some of the heated milk was removed to dissolve some milk powder in it before dividing back into the two portions. The process is started in the morning, I take it out of the Pressure-Cook Pro in the afternoon, and refrigerate it until the following morning.
So that was interesting. The yoghurt on the left didn’t have the milk heated first, the yoghurt on the right did. The left is pretty thin, like normal yoghurt in texture, the right is thicker, and leaves the mark where the spoon cut into it. It’s closer to Greek yoghurt in consistency. Guess there won’t be any shortcuts for me. I don’t mind though, making my own yoghurt that’s similar to Mundella is absolutely worth the extra time spent.