Probiotic Yoghurt

Keep your gut healthy with home made pro-biotic yoghurt and bant at the same time

So you want to make yoghurt? It is one of the most rewarding fermented milk products to make, and so easy when you know how. Here is the recipe.

Now let’s go through the recipe and explain some detail.

Why full cream milk? Yoghurt made with skim milk is thinner. You normally have to add skim milk powder and/or a thickener like Maizena to the skim milk to make nice thick yoghurt. The cream in the milk ensures thick yoghurt.

Why heat the milk? Heating the milk to 90°C breaks down the proteins in the milk. If you buy pasteurized milk, it has been heated, but just up to 72°C which is not enough to break down the proteins for thick yoghurt. Make sure to stir the milk while heating or use a microwave.

What are cultures and what do they do? Cultures are specific lactic bacteria that like warm temperatures.  We let the milk cool to 40-44°C before adding the cultures. They are very fussy organisms that will not grow properly if you change the temperature. What these bacteria do is consume the sugar in the milk, called “lactose”, and excrete it as lactic acid.  The acid makes the milk sour. The products the bacteria produce ultimately gives the milk the yoghurt flavour. There are bacteria floating all over the place and if you are not careful with cleaning your equipment, these wild, bacteria will invade the milk and gobble up the sugar before we can add the correct good YCX11 or ABT-5 bacteria that give the yoghurt flavour. The wild or bad bacteria will give an off flavour to the milk and you will have to feed the dogs with it. Finest Kind sells 2 different mixtures of lactic yoghurt bacteria, generally the most popular ones, namely YCX11 and ABT-5. But there are many different mixtures of bacteria giving thicker or thinner yoghurt, or a less or more strong flavour. The difference between the YCX11 and ABT-5 cultures is that the ABT-5 contains pro-biotic bacteria as well as the lactic bacteria. YCX-11 only contains the lactic bacteria.

So what are probiotics? They are bacteria that normally live in our gut.  A healthy and diverse population of gut bacteria are essential to our immune system, to manufacturing our vitamins, to regulating how much we eat and they even affect our mood.  By making a home made yoghurt with probiotics you can be sure that your gut is being re-supplied with necessary living gut bacteria. You can’t always be sure that the products you buy off the shelf contain living probiotic bacteria. If the bacteria are not alive, they can’t re populate your gut – simple as that.

Why is full cream yoghurt good for banters and those that are lactose intolerant? Most of the sugars, lactose, in yoghurt has been consumed  by the bacteria that we added to the milk leaving proteins and fat. Exactly what Tim Noakes orders.

What is the cost involved? One packet of culture can make 250 litres yoghurt. Just store the cultures as prescribed in the recipe and you will have an ongoing supply of bacteria for your yoghurt. And of course it is a huge saving. Just add R1.40 for the culture to the cost of the milk and you have the price of  a litre of yoghurt.

Any questions? Please email me at