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Question to Good Bread Bakers

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Re: Question to Good Bread Bakers

Postby kurt_w » Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:11 pm

Way back on page 1 of this thread and two years back in time, I mentioned that I occasionally used to make yogurt at home, on the stovetop. But as I said then, it was kind of messy and finicky and not really worth the trouble.

But, on the other hand, milk is cheap (sort of) while yogurt is expensive. And the people in my household seem to consume yogurt at a rate of about $1400 per year. Which is basically ridiculous.

So I was happy when someone recently gave us a yogurt maker. It's the same model that city2countrygal mentioned on the first page of this thread.

Image

I've now been making 40-oz batches of yogurt 4x/week for the past month. Some observations:

(1) The first couple of attempts were so-so, then I figured out an algorithm that worked well, and now every batch is consistently good. (This is the same engineering approach I use with my bread machine -- figure out a good recipe, document it, repeat it exactly every time, and get predictably consistent results).

(2) Our consumption of store-bought yogurt has dropped by almost 90%. Most of that is being made up by the yogurt maker, but also our total consumption is down slightly. I think this is because the yogurt maker works with 6oz cups, whereas our typical serving size from the store-bought quarts was probably 8-10oz. Serving size matters!

(3) Since we're eating a little less yogurt overall, and since the ingredients we use in the yogurt maker (milk mostly, plus a little sugar and some powdered milk) cost much less than the commercial yogurt we used to buy, we've cut our yogurt budget by about 75%. If we keep doing this all year, it'll save something like a thousand bucks per year.

(4) I can control how sweet the yogurt is now. I used to find plain yogurt too sour for my taste, so we ate a lot of vanilla yogurt ... which had a *lot* of sugar in it. Now with the yogurt maker, I get a sort of lightly sweetened yogurt that's just right.

(5) This does add a bit more labor to my life, but not a lot. The procedure is pretty simple:
* Heat 36oz milk in microwave for 7 minutes, stir once, then heat for 5 min more. Should reach 180F.
* Cool to 110F.
* Mix 10oz of heated milk with 2 Tbsp plain commercial yogurt (this is my "starter"), then stir back into remaining heated milk.
* Pour into glass cups, place in yogurt maker, and press button. Cooks overnight.

That all takes ca. 20 minutes or so before it goes in the yogurt maker, but most of that is time in the microwave, or cooling on the counter. My actual involvement only takes about 2 minutes.

I'm still making bread, too, with the Zojirushi, 3 to 4 times per week. It's cheap (once you've paid for the bread machine), convenient, healthy, and delicious. The only downside is that my daughter -- who's basically grown up eating this homemade bread all her life -- can't stand the taste of supermarket bread.
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Re: Question to Good Bread Bakers

Postby snoqueen » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:14 pm

That's not a downside, it's something good.
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Re: Question to Good Bread Bakers

Postby Galoot » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:50 pm

I was making yogurt down in Brazil and enjoying it a lot, but my doctor told me to straighten up my act. My cholesterol is way high, and I think I'll have to cut out most dairy products. Maybe your experience is different, but I can only get yogurt to a decent consistency if I use whole milk.

I didn't bother with a yogurt maker, I just heat the milk on the stove and then put it in a thermos. Five or six hours later, I had tasty yogurt.
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Re: Question to Good Bread Bakers

Postby kurt_w » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:52 pm

snoqueen wrote:That's not a downside, it's something good.

Well, one might think so. But it's actually inconvenient, for example if we're traveling and need to buy supermarket bread, or she's having lunch at someone else's house, or whatever.
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Re: Question to Good Bread Bakers

Postby kurt_w » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:58 pm

Galoot wrote:My cholesterol is way high, and I think I'll have to cut out most dairy products. Maybe your experience is different, but I can only get yogurt to a decent consistency if I use whole milk.


I only use skim milk. It works fine for me. I do add a small amount of nonfat powdered milk, which may help thicken it a little. Since we eat so much yogurt in this household, it pretty much has to be fat-free or we'd all turn into blimps.

Before the yogurt maker, I used to make the yogurt in mason jars, and put them in a cooler, filled (just below the level of the top of the jars) with warm water. But it was a bit tricky getting everything just right. I like the controlled consistency provided by the yogurt maker.
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Re: Question to Good Bread Bakers

Postby Mad Howler » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:43 pm

kurt_w wrote:I only use skim milk. It works fine for me. I do add a small amount of nonfat powdered milk, which may help thicken it a little.

The good old NFDM (non-fat dry milk) trick. Very Babcock, do you remember this listed as an ingredient on the side of their lowfat single serve wax coated cups? It do, and you have given good advice.

With regard to baking bread,
I have found the following useful:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-foo ... z2iKB6NehQ
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Re: Question to Good Bread Bakers

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:12 am

kurt_w wrote:I only use skim milk. It works fine for me. I do add a small amount of nonfat powdered milk, which may help thicken it a little. Since we eat so much yogurt in this household, it pretty much has to be fat-free or we'd all turn into blimps.

False logic.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/healt ... d=all&_r=0

But contrary to what many people believe, an increased intake of dairy products, whether low-fat (milk) or full-fat (milk and cheese), had a neutral effect on weight.

And despite conventional advice to eat less fat, weight loss was greatest among people who ate more yogurt and nuts, including peanut butter, over each four-year period.

Nuts are high in vegetable fat, and previous small studies have shown that eating peanut butter can help people lose weight and keep it off, probably because it slows the return of hunger.

That yogurt, among all foods, was most strongly linked to weight loss was the study’s most surprising dietary finding, the researchers said. Participants who ate more yogurt lost an average of 0.82 pound every four years.
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Re: Question to Good Bread Bakers

Postby kurt_w » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:01 am

But contrary to what many people believe, an increased intake of [...] cheese [...] had a neutral effect on weight.


Clearly, the New York Times has never visited Wisconsin...

:wink:
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Re: Question to Good Bread Bakers

Postby Violet_Skye » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:54 am

http://www.livescience.com/27685-obesit ... tates.html Wisconsin is 29th, going from least obese to most obese states. Pretty much in the middle. :roll:
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Re: Question to Good Bread Bakers

Postby kurt_w » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:36 am

OK, OK. I apologize to cheese eaters, the New York Times, people who like whole-milk yogurt, and the legendarily svelte populace of Wisconsin.

If we just rewind the past few posts, my only intent was to assure Galoot that yes, I'm able to get my homemade yogurt to "set" just fine using skim milk.

---------------------------
Actually, I found the article linked in TBP's comment very interesting. Thanks for posting that.
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