How to Make Greek Yogurt

We eat a substantial amount of plain yogurt.  I, like my mother before me, have trained my kids to eat it with just a little honey or jam stirred in.  This cuts the sugar way down, especially if you make your own low-sugar freezer jam.

By making our own yogurt, we save a great deal on the grocery budget and can have delicious, probiotic breakfasts all week long. Topped with granola and some dried cherries, its the perfect start to any day.

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Yogurt
Makes 2 quarts or 1 ½ quarts Greek-style

2 quarts whole milk (can substitute low-fat, but texture will be thinner)
2 Tbsp plain yogurt (must have live/active cultures)

Method:

 Heat the milk in a saucepan or pressure cooker on yogurt setting, stirring often, until it reaches 180° F.  Hold at that temperature for at least 2 minutes.

Allow milk to cool until it reaches 108-113°F.

Stir in 2 Tbsp yogurt and whisk until fully combined.

Place milk in tub of yogurt maker or pressure cooker and follow manufacturer’s instructions for incubation.  This process should take 4-8 hours. Finished yogurt will have thickened substantially.

Strain, if desired.*

Remove from maker, cool and refrigerate.

*For Greek yogurt, strain using a bullion strainer or a colander/sieve lined with cheesecloth.  Whisk to smooth out the texture after straining.  You can save the whey for use in breads or as a probiotic beverage.

Options for a thicker yogurt:

  • Strain (see above) the final product
  • Whisk 1-2 tsp unflavored gelatin into the cold milk before heating
  • Whisk ½ to 1 cup powdered milk to cold milk before heating (will change taste of final product)

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Authentic Bagels

 

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Repeat after me, “Bagels are not hard to make.”

Good.  Now, keep that in mind as you read on.  There are several steps, but they are NOT hard.  You can do this!

Authentic bagels are always boiled before they are baked, which lends their distinctive chewy texture.  Legitimate bagels also make use of a long fermentation process to increase the depth and quality of the final flavor.

There are three steps:

  1. Make the dough
  2. Poach each bagel for 1-2 minutes (you can do several at a time in a large stock pot)
  3. Bake the par-boiled breads until chewy

 

1-DOUGH
makes 12-16 bagels
Recipe adapted from a Peter Reinhart version found here.

2 Tbsp honey (substitute barley malt syrup if you have it)
2 tsp instant yeast
1 Tbsp salt
18 oz lukewarm water
7 cups bread flour

In a BOSCH mixer, or by hand, mix 6 1/2 cups flour, yeast, and salt.  Dissolve honey (or malt syrup) in water and add to the bowl of the mixer.  Mix on low speed 2-3 minutes.

Check dough.  It should be tacky, but not sticky.  Add remaining flour if necessary.

Mix another 3 minutes on low speed.

Let rise 1 hour at room temperature.

Shape into bagels and place onto a sheet pan that has been either greased or lined with a silicone baking mat. I actually love these that have a permanent silicone coating. To shape, form 4 oz balls and use one of two methods:

  • form rolls and poke a hole in the center, widening the hole to desired size
  • roll dough into a snake and using your palm, roll the ends together to form a circle

Spray surface of bagels with oil, cover pans loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

Alternatively, you can proof entire batch of dough and shape 1 – 1 1/2 hours prior to baking time.

2-POACHING

Remove bagels from fridge 1 hour before you want to bake them. Prepare the poaching liquid:

  • Fill a stock pot with at least 5 inches of water (around 3 quarts).
  • Add 1 Tbsp baking soda, 1 1/2 Tbsp honey (or barley malt syrup) and 1 tsp salt.
  • Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low if bagels are not ready quite yet.
  • Preheat oven to 450° F

To check for readiness:

  • Fill a small bowl with cold water.
  • Drop a bagel into the cold water.
  • If it floats, they are ready.  If not, recheck in 15 minutes.

To poach:

  • Gently add a few bagels to the boiling liquid (don’t overcrowd-they should fit in a single layer).
  • Poach for one minute and then flip with a slotted spoon.
  • Poach second side for an additional 30-60 seconds.
  • Remove to a greased or silicone-lined baking sheet

Now is the time to add toppings such as garlic, cheese, salt, cinnamon & sugar, etc.

3-BAKING

Put trays of bagels into oven and check after 8 minutes.  If they are browning too quickly on the bottom, lower heat to 425° F or add another baking sheet under the pan for insulation.

Rotate pan and bake another 8-10 minutes, or until bagels are golden brown.

Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!