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A delicious snack that is easy to make yourself has the flavour of homemade Greek yogurt. An excellent hunger saver for teaming up with fresh fruit or honey together with the odd walnut, homemade Greek yogurt is extremely popular with those who are figure-conscious but still like to enjoy tasty, satisfying food.
Its consistency, which is thicker than that of other types of yogurt, does not depend on any particular type of live culture or different fermentation times. Greek yogurt is firmer because of a special straining process which, in actual fact, is quite easy once you get the hang of it: so, here are the instructions on how to prepare homemade Greek yogurt without having to use a yogurt maker.
When making your first attempt to produce homemade yogurt, you can start out from a carton of store-bought yogurt. Here’s how to do it:
- Take a medium-sized bowl and stand a fine metal sieve on top. Line the sieve with muslin gauze or a perfectly clean cheesecloth to act as an additional filter.
- Take care that the sieve does not actually come into contact with the bottom of the bowl, because this is where the whey collects. Pour in 500 grams of low fat natural yogurt (without any particular flavour or bacteria) and let it strain from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 4/8 hours. The longer you strain it, the thicker the yogurt becomes.
- When sufficient time has gone by, remove the cheesecloth from the strainer, taking care not to touch the yogurt obtained with the whey in the bowl. What you are left with in the cloth is Greek yogurt, ready to be mixed with pieces of fruit, jam or even a spoonful of honey. Making homemade Greek yogurt starting from home-made yogurt involves a couple of extra steps and, in this case, a kitchen thermometer will come in handy.
- Put 1 litre of full fat milk in a saucepan on a medium heat. Switch off as soon as the milk starts to boil, removing the skin that has formed on the surface. The milk has to reach a temperature between 38 and 40° C (if you have no thermometer, test it with your finger: it must be bearably hot). On average, you must wait about 20-30 minutes.
- Once the milk is the right temperature, add two spoonfuls of natural yogurt, without food colouring or fruit, better still if it contains live bacteria.
- Pour the resulting mixture into a hermetically sealed glass container and wrap everything in a blanket which must be kept in a warm place or in the oven, previously switched on for about one minute, leaving it with the oven light on.
- Do not touch the container for at least 6 hours, but 10 hours may be required to obtain a truly firm consistency.
At this point your homemade Greek yogurt is ready to be strained as explained above.