I am sorry but no store-bought can beat the homemade yoghurt with its thick and creamy texture and delicious and tart taste. The fact that it is sugar-free and free from all those nasty things that the one from the shop might have is also hard to ignore.
If I haven’t already sold you to go out, buy milk and make yoghurt yourself, I have three words for you: It’s super easy! And you don’t need any fancy yogurt-making appliances to achieve great results.
When I was a child, we use to eat only yoghurt made by mum or my grandfather, I can’t even remember buying yoghurt. And my grandfather, he was the king of homemade yoghurt. He was looking after sheep and if you’ve never tried sheep yoghurt, let me just tell you it was once in a lifetime experience. It was so thick that even when we turned the open jar upside down, it wouldn’t slide off, so so thick, like an ice cream. And even though I loved eating it, the whole process of making the yoghurt back then seemed like a lot of a hassle to my anxious childish eyes.
In fact, I am not so sure how famous the Bulgarian yoghurt is around the world, maybe not that much but it’s a true fact that we are really proud of it and anyone that has tried it has been left speechless. In Bulgaria, yoghurt is called kiselo mlyako which literally translated means sour milk. It’s a wonderful probiotic food with long traditions in my homeland – it is believed to have been known for at least 4000 years. The Bulgarian variety of yoghurt needs to be made with two specific starter bacteria – Lactobacillus Bulgaricus and Streptococcus Thermophilus. The combination of these two together with the region’s climate and the way it is prepared, characterises the thickness, acidity and taste of the Bulgarian yoghurt or kiselo mlyako.
And since we live far from home at the moment, sometimes we really do miss these well known for us goodies. And the only option was to start making our own homemade yoghurt. Luckily, we have local farms around us and the one I go to is just a 15-minute drive from home, just outside London. I know that some people have managed to prepare yoghurt with the store bought pasteurised milk, but I personally haven’t and strongly recommend finding raw milk from a local farm if possible. Anyway, if you don’t have that option, always choose the full-fat one from the store for better results.
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I have included a link here where you can buy Bulgarian yoghurt starter. Good news is, if you are serious about making your own yoghurt, you need to purchase it only once as you probably won‘t run away of sachets. When you make your first yoghurt batch, save the last jar and use it for preparing the next batch. And if you accidentally run out of yoghurt (which is fairly easy knowing how delicious it is), you will still probably have some sachets left. I use 2 sachets per 3-4l of milk and there are seven of them in the box.
The result is delicious, rich, thick, creamy, tart in taste homemade yoghurt. And without the hassle of straining it in order to improve it.
It‘s not like my grandpa‘s but still really good – on its own or topped with fruits and honey.
*Note: The liquid that will most probably form on top of the yoghurt is called whey. Don‘t pour it down the sink as it is super helpful for making your own sauerkraut or beet kvass. But this is a story for another post.
**Note: Please note that using a different kind of milk, starters or additives will most likely bring different results in regards to texture, thickness and taste.
Here you can find the yoghurt starter I use.