Do you love yoghurt and spend too much at the grocery store buying ready-made flavoured yoghurts that are too sweet, too rich and too expensive? Well, what about making your own? Fresh, all-natural, homemade yoghurt. Inexpensive, healthy and, best of all, made to order. Sounds perfect. But if you have tried to make yoghurt at home without a yoghurt maker, you know that, while simple on paper, when you get down to it, it is often less-than-desirable. It could be too loose. It could develop a strange smell. And you will end up checking on it multiple times to keep those things from happening. But the Salton Yogurt Maker takes the fuss, the worry and the effort out of the process. Your yoghurt will come out beautifully every time---if you follow the instructions carefully.
Stir the powdered milk and the liquid milk together in the saucepan. (Powdered milk makes the homemade yoghurt thicker.)
Heat the mixture in the saucepan on medium, inserting the candy thermometer. Stir constantly to prevent sticking. Keep checking the temperature of the mixture until it reaches 85 to 90.6 degrees Celsius. Do not let the temperature go higher than this (or it will boil).
Remove the saucepan and let the liquid cool to about 43.3 degrees C. You can put the saucepan in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling, but if you do, be careful not to let the temperature drop any lower than 37.8 degrees C, or you will have to start over.
When the mixture is lukewarm, stir in either 1/2 cup of plain, unflavored yoghurt or one packet of a yoghurt starter culture.
Pour the cultured mixture into the container of the Salton Yogurt Maker, and put the container into the base unit. Close the lid. Make sure the base unit is plugged in. (When it is plugged, the signal light will come on.)
Allow the mixture to culture for at least four hours, but no longer than 10. The yoghurt will become more tart the longer it is left in the unit.
Remove the yoghurt container and either cover it and place it in the refrigerator, or pour the yoghurt into another container with a lid. Store in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
Homemade yoghurt will last for up to one week stored in the refrigerator. Imagine all the add-ins you can use to make your homemade yoghurt breakfast or snack delicious: any kind of fruit; any kind of cereal; flax seeds, wheat germ; sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, molasses, etc. You can find wonderful savoury uses for yoghurt in many types of cuisines---Greek (tzatziki), Middle Eastern (labni, Turkish chicken kebabs) and East Indian (chaas, Tandoori chicken, yoghurt rice), for example. Yoghurt is practically interchangeable with sour cream and is excellent in baked goods, such as corn bread. Consider using your homemade yoghurt to make yoghurt cheese. What about other types of milk, such as goat's milk (for a rich, caramel flavour) or soy milk (for vegan cuisine)? Frozen yoghurt, anyone?
Do not add any sweeteners or flavourings until after the yoghurt has finished being cultured. After the plain yoghurt is finished, then add anything you like to your yoghurt. Be careful about the temperatures, avoiding boiling the mixture while heating it on the stove, and not adding the yoghurt culture until the mixture is lukewarm (43.3 degrees C or so). Make sure that the items that come into contact with your yoghurt are clean: the yoghurt-maker container, the spoon for stirring and the candy thermometer. Yoghurt must be refrigerated after it has cultured. This will stop the culturing process and keep it fresh longer.