Simple though it is to make, regular yoghurt needs to be temperature controlled while the microbes are busy converting the milk that they’ve been added to.
That’s enough to put some folks off of making it themselves.
So, what if there was a yoghurt that would do its thing at normal room temperature and need no fussing around.
Well, I’m happy to say that there is! It’s a traditional yoghurt from Finland called Viili.
Viili is a ‘mesothermic‘ culture of bacteria and yeasts. That means room temperature, no heating.
Regular yoghurt needs the milk to be ‘denatured’ beforethe microbes can get to work. Horrible though that sounds, it simply means heated until things break down so that the milk doesn’t form curds.
The combination of microbes in Viili don’t need that step and are quite happy getting to work on the milk as it is.
All you need to do is get some Viili culture from somewhere – I got mine from a friend (but you can get it easily online) and some milk.
Add the Viili culture to the milk, place the container in a place where it doesn’t receive direct sunlight and wait.
The milk will thicken as the microbes do their work and it will develop a smooth (some say ‘velvety’) texture due to the presence of particular type of yeast.
When the consistency is as you like it, take a tablespoon of your Viili yoghurt and put it into another container of milk and repeat the process.
The culture is happy to be moved from one lot of milk to another many times, giving you a fairly bland, slightly sour, but easy to make yoghurt that you can spice up with your favourite fruits.
If you want a break, just refrigerate it until you’re ready to start again.
That’s pretty well all there is to it. I haven’t found anything yet that can go wrong.
I started using Viili because I’m lactose intolerant but we have a surplus of milk from time to time. Viili doesn’t work as well as Milk Kefir at breaking down the lactose in milk, but it doesn’t do too bad a job.