Yoghurt and granola is my ultimate comfort food.
Classic. Crunchy. Tangy. Not-to-sweet. You know what makes this pairing even more beautiful? They can made in tandem.
First of all, people are often quite amazed to learn that you can make yoghurt yourself. You can. Anybody can. It isn’t difficult and you don’t need any special equipment. And because the process of making yoghurt is rather spread out – since the milk must be heated and then cooled – it allows ample time to make the granola. Using the residual heat from baking the granola, you can incubate the yoghurt. You’re using heat that would otherwise go unused. They really are a perfect couple.
What you will need for the yoghurt:
1/2 gallon milk (cow or goat)
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
Mason jars or containers for yoghurt
1 roasting pan
1 bathroom towel
What you will need for the granola:
6 cups rolled oats
1 – 2 cups nuts or seeds
1 – 3 teaspoons spices of your choice
1 cup liquid sweetener and/or oil
1 roasting pan
This will produce about 64oz. of yoghurt and 7 cups of granola.
Start by warming milk for the yoghurt.
You will need 1/2 a gallon of milk, either cow or goat. (Goat will yield a thinner consistency and require longer to incubate.) Pour into a large metal saucepan, place over medium-high heat and bring to just below a boil. If this is your first time, I recommend you use a thermometer and bring it to about 190° F. Do not let it bubble.
While the milk warms, start the granola.
First, preheat the oven to 325° F.
Then lay a metal roasting pan across two of your stove’s burners. Light both to medium-high heat. Pour your oats, nuts, seeds and spices into the pan:
- 6 cups rolled oats
- 1 – 2 cups nuts or seeds
- 1 – 3 teaspoons spices of your choice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, cloves)
Shuffle the oats, nuts, seeds and spices around the pan until they are toasted and fragrant, about 10 – 15 minutes. Then, remove from heat.
The milk shouldn’t be done heating yet, so finish the granola.
Put another small pot on the stove. Measure out one cup of liquid sweetener and/or oil. We used 1/2 honey and 1/2 cup coconut oil. But this is flexible, you could use all honey, all maple syrup or all brown rice syrup. Or you can substitute oil for up to one half a cup.
Heat the sweetener and oil until thin and runny. Pour over oats/nuts/seeds and stir until well combined. Sprinkle sea salt over the granola, to taste.
Put the roasting pan in the oven. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool and then store in an airtight container.
The milk should be up to temperature.
When it hits 190°, or thereabouts, take it off to the stove. Let it cool to 120°.
When finished, remove the granola from the oven. Turn off the heat.
Time to prepare the yoghurt.
When the milk is cooled, measure out 1/2 cup yoghurt. Ladle about 1 cup milk over the yoghurt and stir. Then pour the mixture back into the heated milk. Stir.
Pour the milk/yoghurt mixture into mason jars, or store bought yoghurt containers. Wrap them up in a bathroom towel. Place the wrapped up containers in a roasting pan. Check the oven. It should be about 130° – cool enough that you can put your hand inside but still pretty warm. Put the roasting pan into the unlit oven. Close the oven.
Let the yoghurt incubate for at least four hours.
You can let it sit overnight or just for a couple hours of the afternoon. The longer you leave it, the thicker and tangier the yoghurt will become.
After the amount of time you choose, remove the roasting pan from the oven. Put the yoghurt in the fridge and let it cool.
And there you have it. Breakfast. Or a snack. Or dessert…
One disclaimer: While the yoghurt is incubating, remember that’s it’s in the oven. Leave a note for yourself if you have to. Because you may find you need to use the broiler. And you may or may not remember that you have a very flammable bathroom towel in the oven. And it may or may not catch on fire if the broiler is lit. I speak from personal experience…