How do you make French-style yogurt?

Introduction: What is French-style yogurt?

French-style yogurt, also known as "yogurt a la Grecque" or Greek-style yogurt, is a tangy and creamy type of yogurt that is thicker and richer than regular yogurt. This yogurt is made by straining the whey from regular yogurt, which results in a thicker and creamier texture. French-style yogurt is commonly used in dips, sauces, and desserts because of its smooth consistency and tangy flavor. Making French-style yogurt at home is easy and requires only a few ingredients.

Ingredients needed for making French-style yogurt

To make French-style yogurt, you will need whole milk, a yogurt culture, and a strainer. The yogurt culture is what makes the milk ferment and turn into yogurt. You can use a store-bought yogurt as a culture or purchase a yogurt starter from a specialty store. It is important to use whole milk because the fat content helps to create the creamy texture of French-style yogurt. You will also need a strainer, either a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer, to strain the whey from the yogurt.

Preparing the milk for French-style yogurt

To make French-style yogurt, you need to heat the milk to a specific temperature to activate the bacteria in the yogurt culture. Heat the milk to 180°F (82°C) and then let it cool to 110°F (43°C). This temperature is ideal for the yogurt culture to grow. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the bacteria in the culture, and if it is too cold, the bacteria will not grow.

Adding the culture to the milk

Once the milk has cooled to the appropriate temperature, add the yogurt culture to the milk and stir well. If you are using a store-bought yogurt as a culture, be sure to choose a plain yogurt that contains live and active cultures. Mix the yogurt culture and milk together thoroughly to ensure that the bacteria is evenly distributed.

Incubating the mixture

After adding the culture to the milk, the mixture needs to be incubated for several hours to allow the bacteria to grow and ferment the milk. The incubation time can vary depending on the desired thickness of the yogurt. A shorter incubation time will result in a thinner yogurt, while a longer incubation time will result in a thicker yogurt. The ideal incubation time is between 6-12 hours.

Straining the mixture to thicken the yogurt

Once the yogurt has incubated, it needs to be strained to remove the whey and thicken the yogurt. Place a cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the yogurt mixture into the strainer. Let the yogurt strain for several hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator. The longer you strain the yogurt, the thicker it will become.

Flavoring options for French-style yogurt

French-style yogurt is delicious on its own, but you can also add flavorings to enhance its taste. You can add honey, fresh fruit, vanilla extract, or even herbs like mint or basil to your yogurt. Mix the flavorings into the yogurt before serving.

Storing and serving French-style yogurt

Homemade French-style yogurt can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When serving, the yogurt can be eaten plain, mixed with fruit or granola, or used in recipes that call for yogurt.

Troubleshooting common issues while making French-style yogurt

If your yogurt does not thicken, it may be due to the milk not being heated to the correct temperature or not incubated for long enough. If your yogurt is too sour, it may have been incubated for too long. If the yogurt has a gritty texture, it may be due to the type of milk used.

Conclusion: Enjoying your homemade French-style yogurt

Making French-style yogurt at home is a simple and rewarding process that results in a delicious and creamy yogurt. With a few ingredients and some patience, you can create a yogurt that is healthier and more flavorful than store-bought yogurt. Experiment with different flavorings and serving options to find your favorite way to enjoy your homemade French-style yogurt.

Photo of author

Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

Leave a Comment