Yoghurt is a semi-solid fermented milk product that originated centuries ago and has evolved from many traditional Eastern European products. The word is from the Turkish yogen, meaning “thick.”
Yoghurt is loved by many Kenyans and all over the world. The partial digestion of the milk caused by the fermentation of the starter culture makes yogurt easily digested, even by people who cannot tolerate milk. When used in baking, yoghurt produces a tender product. Yoghurt is a rich source of protein and calcium, and the fermentation process makes these nutrients easier to absorb. Ongoing studies are revealing many health benefits to this great food, such as boosting immunity and reducing yeast infections and colon cancer.
For successful yogurt making, be sure to:
- Clean and sanitize. This includes using pasteurized milk, heating the milk, and cleaning and sanitizing containers and workspaces. This is all done to keep out unwanted bacteria.
- Maintain a moderate incubation temperature. Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus are thermophilic bacteria. They like warm temperatures, but they can be killed at temperatures above 54°c and will not grow well below 37°C.
- Protect the starter from contamination. Do not open the starter until time to make the next batch.