From the Dwelling Kitchen of Chef Aaron: French-Fashion Yogurt

French style yoghurt

The number one tip is to save a little yogurt as a starter for your next batch.

ONEAs we find ourselves more and more at home, many of us have chosen to cook things ourselves that we would normally buy without a second thought.

For me, one such product was yogurt; After preparing a batch, you suddenly realize that the process is so simple and straightforward that you don’t have to buy yogurt again. (You still will, but… you know.)

Chef Aaron EganChef Aaron Egan

The number one tip is to save a little yogurt as a starter for your next batch—otherwise, get ready to make a new batch of yogurt, only to find you’re buying a small container of plain yogurt to make yourself a large container of plain yogurt.

I fill my yogurt into 6-ounce jars from old store-bought yogurts from the past; You can use jam or jelly mason jars or reusable sealable containers of any type you like. Try to use things that don’t pick up strong flavors — the last thing you want is vanilla onion yogurt.

This is also a great recipe for Shabbat – once heated there is no more cooking. Once in the oven to ferment, it is touched for at least 12 hours.

French style yoghurt

Yield: About 6-7 5-ounce servings of yogurt

ingredients

  • 4¾ cups whole milk
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP. existing yogurt

directions

  1. Pour the milk and sugar into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until it reaches 180°F. Hold between 180°F-190°F for one hour. Stir frequently throughout the process to avoid burning or cooking the milk proteins. (I always end up with a little bit of boiled milk, so don’t worry if it’s not perfect. You want to avoid actual burning.)
  2. Turn off the heat and allow the milk to cool to about 110°F on the counter or stove.
  3. Place the plain yogurt in a bowl and add 1/4 cup of the warm milk, then beat until no lumps remain.
  4. Add the mixture and vanilla extract to the saucepan and mix well.
  5. Place the jars you will be using on a sheet pan/baking pan. Portion the finished yoghurt mixture into the glasses. Cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Turn on your oven to preheat for 90 seconds. Turn it off, place the yogurt tray in the oven and leave the oven light on. If this is not possible, a small paraffin wax candle or 12 hour tealight candle will keep the temperature in the oven slightly warmer than body temperature (in that 100-110 range).
  7. Fermentation, untouched, for 12 hours (or longer, my last batch went 16 hours.)
  8. Remove from the oven and refrigerate for several hours to get the best texture. Cover individually after cooling completely. This yogurt has a thick, creamy consistency and should stand slightly when scooped out of the container.