Hi all. 🙂
Today I’m taking it a bit easy because I have some new glasses, and I’ve been getting some eye-strain. Meh! It’s also still pretty hot, although not as bad as down in other parts of Australia (hi Melbourne!), where I think they are frying eggs on their car bonnets. Keep cool you guys!
So I’m doing some work inside today, and that includes draining the yoghurt I made the other day (here’s how I make it). If you are like me, and don’t enjoy yoghurt that leaves little pools of yellow whey when you dig it out with a spoon, then draining your yoghurt may be for you!
Basically, hanging the yoghurt so that the whey drips out will give you a thicker, stiffer yoghurt. Greek yoghurt is made this way. The longer you hang it, the stiffer it gets, and you can even get it to soft cheese consistency! Which is the yummiest of all. 🙂
If you want to try this, all you need is a bit of cloth to use as a filter (cheesecloth is perfect, and designed exactly for this). The fabric wants to have an fairly open weave so that the liquid will pass through without it taking half the week. You will also need some string, and a way to hoist up the yoghurt over a bowl.
Choose a bowl that can hold the entire volume of the yoghurt you are draining. I did 1 Litre this morning, so I used my 1 Litre measuring jug. Line the bowl with your cloth (I doubled over my cloth because the weave is pretty loose). Then bring all the corners and edges of the cloth up into your hand and tie it off with a long string. You will use the long end to hang the bundle, so don’t cut it off too short!
I use chopsticks to make hanging the yoghurt easier. Wrap the string a bunch of times around the centre of a chopstick and it will hold the weight of the yoghurt without slipping, so long as you use a string that isn’t slippery. Tie a knot if you need to! Then you can quickly hoist the yoghurt up out of the bowl and balance the chopstick in place on your stand. A square chopstick works better than a round one, because a round one can start to roll about.
I used a jelly strainer stand on top of my bowl, but in the past I’ve used a couple of kiddie chairs, or the racks inside my fridge. An oven rack would also be handy. Any place you can securely suspend a chopstick will work, so long as it doesn’t slide off, and you can fit your bowl underneath.
Wait a couple of hours, or until it starts dripping instead of dribbling. I waited a little longer until the drips had stopped, and this had reduced the volume by half. I got 500 mL each of yoghurt and of whey. Exactly the thickness I love! If you want to make it cheesier, just keep on draining! You might want to do this in your fridge, though, because it gets very slow once half the volume is drained. Giving it an occasional stir or poke can help.
Store the whey in your fridge and you can make delicious silky bread with it by swapping out the water or milk in your recipe. My favourite way! Or if you don’t make bread, you can water your plants with it to give them a nutrient boost.
Enjoy your yoghurt with a dollop of honey or your favourite fruits!