Friday, January 30, 2009

Suiting my tastes

I love whole-milk Stonyfield yogurt, the kind that has the thick layer of cream on top. It tastes like candy, not even needing any jam to sweeten it.

On the other hand, my homemade yogurt is tangy-tart, almost too much so for my tastes. The rest of the family loves it, not seeming to mind its strong flavor, but I have to add an extra scoop of jam if I want to enjoy it.

I’ve had a niggling idea that I could replicate the Stonyfield version, but for some unclear reason I just never attempted to. Until a couple days ago when, instead of measuring out the standard four cups of milk, I replaced a half cup of so of the milk with cream from the quart jar that sits on the top shelf of the fridge. I proceeded with my normal yogurt-making routine, the only change being that I occasionally stirred the milk as it cooled in order to prevent the cream from rising to the top and creating a gummy skin—I wanted the cream to be as incorporated into the milk as possible.


The final product was an altogether different animal from my standard yogurt—satiny, rich, mellow. It set up faster, tasted less acidic, and even had a little layer of cream on top (though not as defined as the layer in the Stonyfield containers). I labeled the container “creamy” and then stored it off to one side in the fridge, reserving it for my consumption only. I’ve been eating it for my breakfasts (feeding French toast, eggs, or oatmeal to everyone else) and for my bedtime snack.


I made another container yesterday and now I’m wondering how it would turn out if I used one part cream to three parts milk. Is it possible to create a yogurt that is even better than Stonyfield’s? Is it possible to use too much cream?

The milk/cream mixture is heating up as I type these words and in a few short hours I will determine whether or not I am to become Stonyfield’s next stiff competitor. To be continued...

(Yikes! I was so absorbed in wording that last sentence that my milk/cream boiled over!)

10 comments:

  1. I think I'll stick to the tangy stuff...right now all my cream gets used for butter. But it is awfully tempting. The yogurt i would love to duplicate is the vanilla flavored stuff that I had in Germany. Oh man, a scoop of that and a scoop of plain yogurt on top of my muesli (granola) was so good!

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  2. Also, JJ, I made the 5 minute bread with almost all whole wheat flour and it was really good! A bit chewier than the white but tasted wonderful. The only change I made was that I used 1 cup less flour (so I used 5.5 cups) since ww absorbs so much more water. So any health nuts out there, go for it!

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  3. tiny-little brotherJanuary 30, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    i say forget the milk, just use all cream, and instead of cooking, just freeze it, so then you have ice cream!

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  4. I wonder what you'd think of my homemade yogurt? Kirk & I think it's fabulous -- thick, creamy, not too tart (in our opinions), mucho cream on top. I use a half gallon of whole raw milk and process using Nourishing Traditions' recipe for raw milk yogurt and my own yogurt as culture. Stop by sometime for a sample!

    Did you stir the milk before adding culture or after?

    K

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  5. Tiny-little brother, You make a good point.

    K, I stir the milk as it's cooling, add the culture, stir well, and then set it to incubate.

    -JJ

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  6. Though this sounds the opposite of what one might think, use less starter when making your yogurt.
    It will take considerably longer to set up, but be less tangy.

    S-

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  7. And, by the way, did you know this:
    'Stonyfield is notorious for being a little too generous with the sugar, but the nearly 3 tablespoons in their Chocolate Underground is bad even by their supersweet standards. Not even Ben & Jerry's makes a flavor of ice cream with this much sugar.' (from America's Worst Supermarket Foods)

    So why not just add some sugar? (if that is what you like)

    S-

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  8. S, I just use 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt to start a new recipe. Is that still too much?

    I'm well aware that flavored yogurts are loaded with sugar. I'm not after a sweet yogurt; I find them too cloying. Does Stonyfield really add sugar to their plain yogurt? In any case, this new, higher-fat yogurt that I've been making tastes like Stonyfield's plain yogurt to me---no sugar added on my part.

    -JJ

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  9. S-
    I read that article on Worst Supermarket Food too. Awful! I can't believe people still buy that stuff. Now, I must go make some whole wheat tortillas for our neighbor's super bowl party tomorrow!

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  10. Well, it has been awhile since I made yogurt, but I am thinking it is 1 T per quart of milk.
    As per my recommendations, because she doesn't like strong tangy yogurt either, your Aunt V tried it and thought it was so mild it was awful.
    so maybe 1-2 T / quart would be better.

    And no, I would doubt the plain yogurt from Stoneyfield has sugar added. But you never can really know because they have ways of burying such information.

    S-

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