Okay, this is going to be a photo heavy post! 😉
After leaving the yogurt to incubate last night, here is what it looked like this morning.
I stirred it slightly to see how set it was before taking the photo. It was quite smooth at the top before then.
The yogurt feels quite thin at this point. If I’d wanted to, I could have added the optional gelatin to get it to look more like the store bought stuff, but then I wouldn’t be able to use it to make the cheese. Once refrigerated, it’ll thicken more, but will still be thinner than store bought.
The next thing for me to do was set up to make the yogurt cheese out of half of this.
Thankfully, I had enough cheese cloth left! I didn’t even think I wouldn’t. I suppose, if I needed to, I could have used a clean, thin tea towel or other cloth. Anything clean that would allow the liquid to drain, but not let the yogurt pour straight through, would work. This cheese cloth is folded in quarters to get 4 layers. I once tried it with only 2 layers, and the yogurt just poured right through when I lifted the corners.
That sure was a mess to fix.
I have a stainless steel colander in a big Tupperware Thatsa Bowl to save the precious, precious liquid. 😀 If you don’t plan to use the liquid for something else, it can be drained over a sink. Which would make me cry, because that would be quite a waste.
Just kidding. 😉
Okay… next step.
I gently ladled about half of the fresh yogurt into the cheese cloth. Take it slow, because the cheesecloth tends to get pulled in and sometimes flops into the yogurt. Which is a pain, because then it doesn’t want to stay up anymore. Cheesecloth is so delicate, the weight of the yogurt in the fibers makes it fall into the yogurt, which makes it heavier, and it falls in even more easily… It’s a nasty cycle. 😉
Then it’s time to tie it off.
How I like to do it is to tie two opposing corners with a simple knot, first, pulling it quite close to the yogurt, then tying the other two corners over it. It’s a bit tricky to do the second knot, because the ends of the first one want to undo or plop into the fresh yogurt. After the second knot is done, I use the pairs of corners to tie an third knot. That one, I double knot.
If you notice in the picture, there are gaps in the fabric. Those will be used…
I slid a wooden spoon under the knot, through the gaps, removed the colander and hung the bag over the bowl, temporarily. The bag is lying on the bottom of the bowl, and it should be suspended.
Now, it’s back to the remaining yogurt.
I have a canning funnel, which made the job much easier. These are just plastic storage containers with screw on lids, that I scalded first.
I was able to fill a little more than 3 1/2 of my containers. They hold about 2 cups each, if I remember correctly.
These then went into the fridge.
I then washed out the stock pot I used to make the yogurt in and…
… transferred the bag over.
Unfortunately, the bag still touches the bottom of the pot.
The whole process of transferring the remaining yogurt into containers took about 5 minutes. This is how much liquid drained from the yogurt in that short period.
Not too shabby!
I then had to get creative to raise the bag up a bit.
Look at how much liquid already drained out!
I used a couple more spoons to raise the bag, but it still was touching the bottom. So I moved the pot onto the stove and set it partly on one element, shifting the spoon with the bag to the higher side, so that the liquid would drain away from the bag.
If I wanted to just have thicker yogurt, I would drain it for only about an hour or so. To make the yogurt cheese, I will allow it to drain for several hours, or most of the day. I will check on it throughout the day and decide along the way.
The liquid from the first bowl was put into a sealed container and refrigerated. Anything that drains into the pot will be added to this, later. When it comes time to bake bread, it will need to be warmed up first, then combined with warm water to get to the amount needed for the recipe.
Hmm. I wonder if the yogurt in the fridge has had enough time to chill? I haven’t had breakfast, yet. Mmm…