Pamela B.'s "Goat Gurt" Yogurt
In response to your call for recipes, here is my recipe for home made "Goat Gurt" or "Yo Goat." Of course, yogurt can also be made from cow's milk or sheep's milk, soy milk, or even from dehydrated non fat dry milk, using this method. We prefer the goat's milk because it seems to provide that perfect tang. We usually eat it plain with sweetener. I have also included some other dairy products that can result if your goat gurt "fails."
Excellent Goat Gurt Ingredients:
7 Cups goat's milk
2/3 Cup powdered milk (optional, but it adds thickness to the final product)
One 6 oz. container of Greek yogurt containing active culture (check the label)
Whisk together the powdered milk and the fresh milk in a clean pot. Heat the milk slowly and just barely to the boiling point. Allow it to simmer for 3 minutes. Place the whole pot in a cold water bath in your sink to lower the temperature of the milk quickly. Use a thermometer to gauge its decline, which will happen quicker than you think it will, so monitor it carefully. Make sure that the thermometer's tip is not touching the bottom or sides of the pot.
Turn on your oven to its lowest setting and turn it off as soon as it reaches the lowest temperature. Turn on your oven's light and leave it on.
While the milk is cooling, scoop the Greek yogurt into a glass bowl or wide jar big enough to hold 8 cups of liquid. I use a jar that once held garnish cherries from a local bar.
When the milk reaches 118 degrees F, pour about one cup of it into the glass container with the Greek yogurt. Whisk the milk and yogurt until well blended. Add the rest of the milk and whisk again.
Place your mixture as close to the oven light as possible and forget about it for six to eight hours. Remove the yogurt to the refrigerator where it will continue to thicken.
I do not know how long goat gurt keeps in the fridge because it is gone in a hurry around here. I can say that nothing was wrong with it after three weeks.
Remarks and Other Dairy Products:
The methods of applying gentle heat over a long period of time are numerous. You can use a commercial yogurt maker or you can put the yogurt into a Styrofoam cooler with an electric light bulb inside (cut out a little sluice for the cord to go through). You can use a cooler and put bottles of hot water in with the yogurt, but you must change the hot water bottles every few hours to make sure they stay warm.
For sweetened plain yogurt, I add sugar or sweetener at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 6 oz serving, but you should just add sweetening to your taste.
If, for some reason, your goat gurt does not "make" using this method, all is not lost. Turn your oven on to 170 F and put the pot back in for about four hours. Check it frequently until you achieve the desired thickness.
Or, for an easy hard cheese, leave the yogurt in the 170 degree oven for 12 - 24 hours, until you have achieved a break between the curds and the whey. Then drain the whey through a cheesecloth and mash the resulting cheese curds together. Apply an 8-to-16 pound weight (I use a 2 liter soda bottle filled with water) to force out more liquid and further compact the cheese at room temperature. Turn the cheese over twice a day and add a sprinkle of Kosher salt to each side. Keep the weight on it and keep turning it twice a day for three days. Then make a brine by adding 1 teaspoon vinegar and 2/3 C Kosher salt to a quart of water. Store your hardened cheese in the brine in the fridge. It will last indefinitely and can be used as a grating cheese similar to Parmesan.
1. Cream cheese: Additional thickening can be had by draining more liquid from the curd through a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Use this very thick product like cream cheese, especially in cheesecake recipes. Add herbs and spices to make a nice cheese spread.
2. Buttermilk: If you stir the yogurt vigorously, it will become less thick and can be used as a substitute for buttermilk.
3. Sour Cream: Substitute plain yogurt for sour cream in recipes.
Do not discard all that good whey! It contains a lot of protein and your dogs, cats, chickens or pigs will love it. Or use it instead of water when you make pasta or rice.
Useful Recipe and Cooking Links:
How to Make Yogurt
Yogurt flavor recipes
Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? Please send it via e-mail. Thanks!