After a recent trip to Beijing, I returned home to a request for 北京酸奶. Funny. No one mentioned that the yogurt tasted that great when we were over there or else I would have paid more attention. Anyways, 北京酸奶 is more of a drinking through a straw instead of an eating with a spoon type of yogurt. I did find a 北京酸奶 maker in the United States. Thank you Google! So far, I have only found their products in Northern California at Taste Good Beijing Cuisine in Milpitas. Why isn’t this being sold at 99 Ranch?
Anyways, my attempts at home-made yogurt are still works in progress.
First, heat up some milk until it just reaches a boil. For my first few attempts, I started off with 2 cups of whole milk just to make sure I was headed in the right direction. You don’t want to end up wasting a lot of milk if the recipe or technique is off.
Next, I pour the milk into a mixing bowl and cool the milk in an ice bath until it hits 115° F. Basically, the smaller mixing bowl containing the warm milk sits in a larger mixing bowl containing an ice/water mix.
Once the yogurt hits the target temperature, I add in the yogurt starter with a milk:yogurt ratio of 8:1, and whisk till smooth. Next time, I might run the batch through a blender to see if the end product will be even smoother.
At this point, I ladle the yogurt mixture into individual ceramic cups (which are really leftover French yogurt containers) and place them in the oven at 100° F for six hours. After six hours, place the containers in the refrigerator to cool.
If you do not sweeten the yogurt, it comes out pretty tart. I’ve added maple syrup to the yogurt at the time of consumption and that was pretty tasty. I’ve also added sugar (2 tsps per 2 cups of milk) while heating the milk and that works as well.