Yogurt Outside the Square (and In the Towel Cupboard)

“Not another article about homemade yogurt!” Hey, but how about yogurt made in a towel cupboard?

There are a lot of homemade yogurt recipes online and there’s nothing that novel about it. This article is not so much about HOW to make yogurt at home, but more an INVITE for you to think outside the square.

You see, I’m not one to slave over food. I’m happy to home-make anything as long as it fits into my day. I always knew how to make yogurt at home (and how it’d be free of the gel and starch etc. they add to supermarket yogurt), but I didn’t start making it regularly until I thought of using my towel cupboard.

What’s so special about my towel cupboard?? Well, our hot water cylinder is in it πŸ˜‰ Our hot water cylinder is not so new, and therefore not well insulated anymore. To replace one costs quite a bit of money so we won’t be replacing it just because the cupboard is always toasty now. And a toasty cupboard provides the perfect solution to culturing a large amount of yogurt (we go through a lot!) Without a means to keep a large batch of yogurt warm for an extended time, I simply would find it too much hassle to make my yogurt at home.

Here is what I do:

  1. My yogurt making contraption

    Fill my slow cooker with standard milk (3.6 litres) and heat until it’s roughly 80 C (on my “keep warm” setting). You can gauge this temperature by seeing skin forming on the surface without the milk boiling. I heard the longer you keep your milk at this temperature, the thicker your final yogurt will be, so I typically leave my milk at this temperature for an hour.

  2. Cool the milk until it’s about bath temperature. If I can’t be bothered waiting, I cool the milk in a water bath in the sink.
  3. Take 3/4 cup of yogurt (at room temperature) and add 1 cup of milk powder to it and blend well.
  4. Stir the yogurt mix into milk.
  5. Close the slow cookerΒ lid and put it into my towel cupboard with towels all around it to keep it warm.
  6. Wait for 8-12 hours and I have home made yogurt πŸ™‚
  7. Chill the yogurt in my fridge until cold then transfer it to boxes I use for storing yogurt in the fridge. We typically finish these in 3 weeks. I also save 3/4 cup and freeze to be use for my next batch.

My Yogurt

My yogurt making process isn’t very particular, and I’ve never had a failed batch. I don’t use a thermometer; and I don’t particularly sterilise my equipments – my utensils are cleaned and stored just like everything else in my kitchen. I don’t time how long I heat the milk, and how long I leave the yogurt in my cupboard. If the yogurt looks a little thin when I take it out of the cupboard, then I just pop it back to culture longer and thicken.

Many people can become very fixated on rules if they want to be: how long the milk should be heated, exact temperature, how long yogurt should be cultured etc.

The principal behind making yogurt is to let the live bacteria multiply and convert milk into yogurt – the longer the process, the more milk is converted to yogurt and therefore thicker. The time for bacteria to grow depends on temperature – as long as the bacteria are active and thriving, your yogurt/milk would not go bad. Once the principal is understood, making yogurt really doesn’t need to be hard. So why should we spend time following rules that don’t need to be there?! If yogurt making is so particular, there’d not be hundreds of recipes online, and ancient Indians would not be making it on a daily basis.

So as I said, this article really isn’t so much about making yogurt, but rather an invite for you to think outside the square. Break the rules that do not deserve a place in your life! Spend time and energy on things that are ACTUALLY important!

What do you do in your daily life that’s outside the square? πŸ™‚

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7 thoughts on “Yogurt Outside the Square (and In the Towel Cupboard)

  1. Pingback: My Lunch Mess | Imported Kiwi

  2. I liked your yoghurt post. I used to make yoghurt many moons ago, before we were married, with a plant that I had to feed every day with milk. It was like a sponge that used to ‘grow’, and the milk would turn into yoghurt. I have never seen one since, but I’ve have been trying to make my own yoghurt by following all the rules, without much success. I am going to give your way a go.

    Also we have not yet made a door for our pizza oven. I like your idea of the clay door. It looks very effective.

    • Hi, I’ve heard of this ‘plant’ you had but never seen it myself. Good luck and let me know how you go with yogurt making πŸ™‚

      About clay oven door, I think using clay with plenty of straw mixed in is the easiest way yet very durable and effective! And you’ll be able to do so much more with your oven once you have a door! Again, good luck, and I’d love to hear how you go πŸ™‚

  3. No hot water cylinder in Dutch houses… so that’s my first hurdle… second is no Yoghurt mix here either, darn because I fancy making my own yoghurt and this looks so easy.

    • You don’t need yogurt mix for this at all – just use a little of the bought yogurt and milk powder and you’re good to go. A friend of mine doesn’t have a hot water cylinder, and he just microwaves it at a low setting every hour or 2 for a few times (just so the yogurt remains lukewarm for 6-8 hours or so). He told me he’s been getting good result so you may like to give it a go? πŸ™‚

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