Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to Make Mesothelic (Room Temperature) Yogurt and a Yogurt Bread Recipe

I've been experimenting with cultured foods lately. I have tried 4 types of mesothelic yogurts and I am loving them! This recipe works with viili, filmjolk, matsoni, piima, or other room temperature yogurts.

You will need:
  • Starter culture
  • Jar with lid (a quart jar works well)
  • Milk or cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
Take yogurt from previous batch of yogurt to use as starter culture (1 Tablespoon for every 8-10 oz of desired yogurt).

Place starter culture in a clean jar (you will need a lid).

Add milk to desired amount. Example: 1 Tablespoon starter yogurt and 8 oz of milk makes 8 oz of finished yogurt). 

Cover with lid and allow to sit for 10-12 hours or until the yogurt pulls away from the side of the jar when jar is tipped.

This isn’t an exact science, using more milk or less starter just means it will take a bit longer. If your “room temperature” is warmer, your yogurt will culture more quickly.  If you find it is ready too soon, use less starter or use more milk to have the batch ready later. When the yogurt looks like it is starting to curdle or separate into curds and whey, it is a bit over cultured. It is still good, but must be stirred and loses a bit of it’s creaminess. It will also taste a little more tangy. Experiment a little to find what works for you and what taste you prefer.

Use any type of milk you like. Milk with less fat will make thinner yogurt. If you want thicker yogurt, you can put some in a coffee filter until some of the whey drains out and it is the consistency you like. (Use the whey for lacto fermenting vegetables!) If you leave it longer, the majority of the whey will drain out and you will be left with cream cheese. Add some herbs or fruit and enjoy on bagels :)

You can do a second ferment after removing starter for your next batch by adding fruit if you desire. Or just add fruit, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, (or whatever sounds good) to taste. 

Yogurt bread (tastes like sourdough)

Put equal amounts of yogurt and flour in a bowl and stir to make a sponge. You may need to add one or the other to make a sticky sponge that is thicker than pancake batter, but not as thick as dough.
Example: 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup flour. 

Allow to culture for 12 hours. 

Add a pinch of salt. Optional: add 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 Tablespoon butter or olive oil and any desired spices (garlic? italian herbs? dill?)

Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until you have a soft dough. Shape as desired for loaf (bread sticks sprinkled with garlic and parmesan anyone? pizza crust?). 

Allow to rise for several hours.

Bake at 375 degrees F until crust is brown.

Remove and cool before cutting. 

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