The Best Yoghurt Ever!
I have been making SCD yoghurt twice a week for years now. It has become routine. I am relaxed and confident about the procedure and sure about the result. I wasn’t always like this, so don’t worry if you feel out of your depth!
It takes 24 hours plus a few hours chilling time but it’s not difficult or time consuming. The actual “hands-on” time is minimal; about 10 minutes. It just requires planning, because if you forget about it, you’re more than a day without yoghurt.
I only recently bought a Luvele yoghurt maker. Goodness knows why I didn’t sooner. Plug it in and step away. It’s so simple.
So how does it taste?
If you are used to rich & creamy dessert-like yoghurt like I was, you may find SCD Yoghurt quite tangy at first. It tastes like natural Greek yoghurt. In the beginning I preferred to eat it with savory meals, like curries and Mediterranean style dinners but I quickly acquired the palette for its a-la-natural goodness.
Healing an upset digestive system requires a transition away from sweet food anyway, so you might find your taste buds begin to change. Foods that you commonly enjoyed may stop appealing to you. I personally couldn’t stomach the rich vanilla yoghurt I once ate every morning with breakfast.
How to eat it?
You can eat SCD Yoghurt any way you like. My kids love a dash of maple syrup. I have a cup full with stewed rhubarb every morning. You can add it to smoothies or add fruit, nuts, vanilla, honey, coconut chips or cinnamon. Whatever your palette desires. Go for it!
CHOOSING THE MILK
If you want the most nutritious yoghurt possible, it must be made from good quality milk. The most nutritious milk will be from animals eating their species appropriate food. For cows, this means grass! Not grains. I use biodynamic milk to ensure this.
A brief overview…
Raw milk: Unless you are fortunate enough to have access to a dairy, raw milk can be difficult to find. Raw milk is obviously straight from an animal, is free from processing and as a consequence it comes to you with its own unique bacteria. It is jam-packed with beneficial enzymes which is what makes it so appealing to more and more real food enthusiasts these days.
In Australia, it is illegal to sell raw milk for consumption but there is a commercial loophole that makes it available in health food stores labeled as ‘Bath Milk’. Yoghurt made from raw milk may vary from batch to batch. (I have further notes on using raw milk in the Step by Step Yoghurt recipe below)
Unhomogenized organic or biodynamic milk: This is milk that has cream floating on the top and is my preference.
Organic milk: These cows may have been fed grain.
A2 milk: May not be organic but because it does not contain A1 beta-casein protein it is easier to digest.
Conventional full cream milk: These cows will have been fed grain and will have traces of pesticides & antibiotics.
Reduced fat / UHT milk: I really wouldn’t bother making yoghurt from reduced fat or UHT milk. Both types are highly processed and have little nutritional value.
Goat’s milk: Goat’s milk contains mostly A2 beta casein proteins which is much more digestible and is an option if you are sensitive to cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is considered to be more digestible by humans as it contains less casein and different types of fats and proteins.
YOGHURT STARTER CULTURE
Yoghurt starter contains cultures of bacteria that inoculate the milk and begin fermentation. The bacteria strains required are: Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus (optional). SCD yoghurt starter culture is available here and through the Australian GAPS website here.
Yoghurt starter culture must be stored in your freezer. To ensure freshness it is recommend to divide the culture into two jars. 80% of the culture should be in one jar and rarely opened. The smaller portion is your working supply. One sachet of yoghurt culture will make approximately 80 x 1 litres batches!
You can also use a tablespoon full of SCD yoghurt to kick start another batch.
Without a starter culture….
24 hour yoghurt can be made from commercial natural Greek yoghurt but it won’t have all of the above mentioned bacteria. Be sure to check the ingredients list to avoid any with added flavors, sweeteners, starch or pectin. My first batches were made with Greek yoghurt.
Unless you otherwise have commercial Greek yoghurt in your fridge, this is not the most cost effective method. Why buy a tub of yoghurt and not eat it? A container of live starter culture is definitely the only way to go. It will last for months in the freezer and make approx. 80 litres!
You should sterilize all the yoghurt making equipment before-hand. I admit to being lazy with this step. The only danger of not sterilizing is that other bacteria can overpower your starter culture and affect the quality of your precious yoghurt. I thoroughly wash everything in hot soapy tap water, rinse and dry with a fresh tea towel. I find that is enough.
Your yoghurt maker and culture will come with yoghurt making instructions. I recommend you follow the SCD method.
HOMEMADE 24 HOUR YOGHURT – STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
1. Measure Quantity
Measure the appropriate quantity of milk to fill your yoghurt maker and pour into a large saucepan. The milk expands a little when it is heated so use a large pot.
If you are using raw milk…
If you prefer to keep the original flavor and nutritional properties of raw milk then skip the next step. Pasteurization (heating of the milk) will cause loss of vitamins regardless of whether it is done commercially or by you at home.
If you don’t heat the milk the innate bacteria of the raw milk are preserved. You may get a much runnier yoghurt however as the milk’s raw enzymes will compete with the yoghurt starter culture and interfere with the yoghurt consistency.
You can take a 50 / 50 bet and gently heat the raw milk only to 43 degrees Celsius. This will preserve the integrity of the fragile milk proteins, enzymes and some of the competing naturally occurring bacteria without too much damage.
2. Heat the milk to 180° Fahrenheit (82° Celsius)
This is just the moment before the milk is about to boil. You can actually see this pre-boiling point; the milk begins to swell and rise slightly. The milk must not boil however.
I used to find this step nerve racking. I would stand by the pot with thermometer in hand, waiting and waiting. It felt like an eternity. Recently I timed how long it took to reach 170 degrees and that has made the process failsafe and stress free. I now set my oven timer at 7 minutes and relax. When the beeper goes off I know I have at least another 30 seconds to get to the stove and turn the heat off. Now that last 30 seconds seems to take an eternity!
3. Let the milk cool to below 43° Celsius before adding the culture. It is fine if the milk cools well below 43° or even goes cold, it just mustn’t be too hot. Temperatures above 43° Celsius will kill the starter culture.
4. A layer of skin layer will form on the yoghurt as it cools. Leave it in. You don’t want to miss this incredible, rich and nutritious layer of cream!
5. Add the yoghurt starter culture and whisk until it is evening dispersed.
6. Pour the milk into the yoghurt making container and put the lid on. The milk is now ready to begin fermentation.
Without a yoghurt maker this is the trickiest part! The temperature must stay between 38 – 43 degrees Celsius. If the temperature becomes too hot the cultures die and your yoghurt will be ruined. Too cold and it will become dormant and you will get slimy, stringy yoghurt.
There are many ways to do ‘make-shift’ fermentations, but it has to have a continuous and stable heat source for 24 hours. Heat lamps and a low oven were fine methods for a 6 hour fermentation. Ensuring a stable temperature for 24 hours could be beyond any one’s patience – unless you happen to have a heated glasshouse. Treat yourself – invest in a yoghurt maker. I highly recommend a Luvele Pure Yoghurt maker because it has a SCD setting that makes it as simple as pressing a button. Failsafe and easy!
7. Set temperature for a minimum 24 hours.
Straight from the cooker the yoghurt will be warm and runny. Be gentle with it and don’t stir it or else it won’t set in a perfect white mass. Place the tub in the fridge for approx. 6 hours to set.
ENJOY YOUR HOMEMADE YOGHURT!
Check out that layer of cream…… Yum
- Milk - the best quality you can buy
- Measure the appropriate quantity of milk to fill your yoghurt maker and pour into a large saucepan. The milk expands a little when it is heated so use a large pot.
- Heating the Milk to 82° C or 180° F - DO NOT BOIL
- Let the yoghurt cool to below 43° C
- When it has cooled to below 43 degrees Celsius, lift most of the skin off the yoghurt. (This is a personal preference. Leave it in for a chunky rustic yoghurt if you like)
- Add the yoghurt starter culture and whisk in till it disappears.
- Pour the milk into the yoghurt making container and put the lid on. The milk is now ready to begin fermentation.
- Set the timer to 24 hours
- After 24 – 29 hours the fermentation is complete. Straight from the cooker the yoghurt will be warm and runny. Be gentle with it and don’t stir it or else it won’t set in a perfect white mass. Place the tub in the fridge for approx. 6 hours to set.
A note on fermentation…
I previously used an ‘Easyyo’ yoghurt thermos and a slow cooker filled with warm water. My slow cooker had a KEEP WARM setting which kept the temperature within the SCD fermentation limits. This set up worked fine for a while. It made great yoghurt but it was extra work – and little bit dangerous Too often the water would totally evaporate and the slow cooker was dry as a bone. I was lucky not to crack the ceramic dish!
I’d be happy to answer all your yoghurt making questions! Just give it a go.
If you are lactose intolerant, have a serious digestive disorder or are prone food intolerances, it is highly recommended to start very, very slowly with this yoghurt. Start with a few teaspoons and monitor your sensitivity.