How to Made Homemade Icelandic Style Yogurt

Since travelling I have missed yogurt from Australia; the thick and creamy yogurt found everywhere in Queensland. My favourites were Queensland Yogurt Company and Mungalli Creek Dairy Yogurt. I couldn’t find the same while travelling but I did come across Icelandic style yogurt in New York under the brand name Siggi. It was amazing to say the least. It is super thick, low sugar, high protein and fat free. Where has this yogurt been all my life! Then we went to Thailand and the yogurt there is appalling and I craved Siggi’s daily. Upon arriving in London I came across Skyr yogurt at the local Asda and the love affair for Icelandic style yogurt began again. I have to admit I think Siggi’s flavoured yogurts are better but Skyr’s flavoured ones are still decent. I bought the natural Skyr and it is equally as amazing and you can flavour it yourself with maple syrup, berries etc., Even though Skyr is pretty decently priced I love to learn how to make things at home so I found a recipe online and attempted to make a homemade version of Skyr.

In terms of cost effectiveness I am not sure whether it works out more cost effective but it does stop me buying packaged items and gives me a sense of satisfaction that I made it myself.

My first attempt at Skyr was a success and my partner is a huge fan (which is always a good sign). I did accidentally use organic, full fat milk and it still turned out great. The second time I got the right milk needed to make Skyr (non-fat milk) and the main difference is that I noticed there was less whey dripped out and it thickened quicker. I tried to take photos along the way, the lighting is terrible in the kitchen but it does the trick.

I used the recipe I found at this blog (Jules Food Blog Spot). Both of my attempts I have halved the recipe I found on Jules Food Blog Spot. For my first attempt I didn’t buy enough milk (still trying to get used to the imperial system of measurement) and I think by halving the recipe it makes enough yogurt for both of us (for now). I also need to see if my pot will support 5 litres.

Ready to start!

Ready to start!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2.5 litres (1/2 gallon) non-fat milk (organic is better)
  • 1-3 heaped Tablespoons of Plain/Natural Skyr or another brand if you can find it
  • 3-4 drops of Vegetable Rennet Liquid (I got mine from Planet Organic)

Equipment

  • Digital thermometer
  • Stainless steel pot
  • Tea-towels or a towel for wrapping up pot
  • Cheese cloth or a big square of muslin cloth
  • A large strainer
  • A whisk
  • Bowl/cup

Instructions

  • Ensure all your utensils are clean
  • Pour milk into pot and set to a low heat/low flame if using gas
Heating milk on stove (gas)

Heating milk on stove (gas)

  • Heat milk to 87-91 degree Celsius (190-195 degrees Fahrenheit) – use a low heat to avoid the bottom of the pot burning
Heated to 190.5 F (88 C)

Heated to 190.5 F (88 C)

Note: Using a low heat the milk will take about an hour to get to the right temperature, don’t turn it up just to speed up the process or you may burn it.

  • When the milk is heated to the above temperature turn off the heat and let the milk cool to 43 degrees Celsius (110 degrees Fahrenheit) – this takes about an hour but monitor it appropriately
  • In a cup or bowl put your heaped Tablespoons of your Skyr yogurt starter (or another brand if using that) and slowly add a Tablespoon at a time of your milk until you get a smooth, pourable consistency, make sure it is combined
  • Add this mixture to the warm milk and stir but do this carefully to avoid scaping any milk solids that have forms at the bottom of the pot
  • Add the drops of liquid rennet to the milk and stir carefully
  • Cover your pot in tea-towels or a towel and leave in on the bench-top for approximately 12-16 hours
  • After 12-16 hours, uncover and take a look at the pot – it should be quite solid by now and some whey (yellow liquid) maybe visible on top
Thicken after sitting for 12 hours

Thicken after sitting for 12 hours

Note: If the milk mix hasn’t thickened/formed then something has gone wrong

  • Take a sharp knife and cut the curds in to cubes (you don’t have to do this but it helps the whey sitting on top go to the bottom and you can scoop of the mix easier. It looks cool but you don’t have to do this step
Cutting curds

Cutting curds

 

  • Line your strainer with your cheese/Muslim cloth and spoon your curds into the strainer until all done. I ended up scooping everything in the pot into this so nothing was left behind
  • Let this sit for 1-2 hours to drain most of the whey
Yogurt in Muslim cloth draining through strainer

Yogurt in Muslim cloth draining through strainer

DSC00626 (Small)

Whey that dripped out

  • When the dripping is not as consistent, gather the corners of the cloth and tie and hang from a wooden spoon (or similar) over a pot/saucepan/bowl to catch the remaining whey.
Second round of 'drain away the whey' this time in the fridge

Second round of ‘drain away the whey’ this time in the fridge

Note: The first time I made this yogurt I did the second ‘drain away the whey’ step on kitchen bench as London is cold. The second time I did it in the fridge. If you are in a hot place probably best to do in the fridge. Don’t discard the whey until right at the end.

  • This will take a few hours so be patient. The result should be firm/thick and a bit dry around the edge of the cloth, almost like a cheese. I love thick yogurt but if left too long and then refrigerated it can become almost like a cream cheese consistency
DSC00623 (Small)

Not a great photo but you can see the thickness around the edges

  • Remove the yogurt from the cloth and put into a bowl. Whisk it until smooth.
  • If you yogurt is too thick use some of the whey that dripped out when whisking as this will help to thin it out. Remember it is supposed to be thicker then Greek yogurt but not as thick as cream cheese.

Note: My partner wanted me to keep the whey and he decided to drink it as it is quite good for you. I personally cannot bring myself to drink it.

  • Put in the fridge and let set a bit longer
  • Now your yogurt is ready to eat by itself or add some fruit/maple syrup/honey/seeds/nuts etc.,
DSC00659 (Small)

Finished product (with camera flash)

DSC00650 (Small)

Finished product (without camera flash)

Note: The consistency of the yogurt should be smooth and not grainy/lumpy like cottage cheese. If it is try whisky it until it is smooth. If it is thick you can add some of the whey that dripped out to the yogurt.

There are quite a few steps but making this is actually really easy. The first time is the hardest but once you get the hang of it you will be a professional.

I like to make a berry mix to add to my yogurt which is super simple to make. Just buy either fresh or frozen berries and add to a pot and turn to a low heat. Using fresh, ripened berries will be best as they will have more sweetness then frozen berries. The berries juices should start to be released and use a wooden spoon to break them up a bit. You can add sugar to this if you want more sweetness. I prefer not to add any additional sugar unless the berries are super sour then I use coconut sugar to sweeten (stevia could be used also). Once finished put in a container and let cool in the fridge.

Hope you enjoy.

N.x

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