Monday, February 28, 2011

How to Make Mediterranean Greek Yogurt from SCRATCH

Strained yoghurt, yoghurt cheese, labneh/labaneh, dahi, or Greek yoghurt, is yoghurt which has been strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter, traditionally made of muslin, to remove the whey, giving a consistency between that of yoghurt and cheese, while preserving yoghurt's distinctive sour taste. Like many yoghurts, strained yoghurt is often made from milk which has been enriched by boiling off some of the water content, or by adding extra butterfat and powdered milk.
Strained yoghurt is a traditional food in the Middle East and South Asia, where it is often used in cooking, as it is high enough in fat not to curdle at higher temperatures. It is used in both cooked and raw, savoury and sweet dishes.
Labneh (also spelled Labaneh, Lebnah, Labne, Labni, Arabic: لبنة) is a white Middle Eastern yoghurt cheese made from cow milk. Labneh, a word derived from the word laban as in the surname Labahn or Laban, means white or milk.

Serves: 8-10
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 2 days

6 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half milk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 large towel or small blanket

In a large pot over medium/low heat add the 2 types of milk and stir slowly to make sure the milk does NOT stick to the bottom of the milk.  When small bubbles appear on the top of the milk and you steam coming up from the milk, remove the pot from the heat.  Let the milk cool for about 30 minutes to 110-115 degrees or until you can stick your clean pinky finger in the pot and count maximum to the number 10 and pull it out due to the heat, be careful not to burn your finger. As soon as the milk is at the correct temperature, slowly stir in the 1 cup of yogurt, cover the pot and then set the pot aside on a counter top and cover with a blanket overnight. The next day, place the pot in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, remove and uncover the pot, pour off any excess water and store the yogurt in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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