Bulgaria has a long history of yoghurt making dating back over 4000 years. Many consider it to be the motherland of yoghurt as we know it today. Our Bulgarian yoghurt starter is a heirloom variety, meaning you can reculture it time and time again from our initial starter culture. This culutre differs from our mesophillic (room temperature) range because it requires heat to ferment. This is a thermophilic yoghurt. It requires a yoghurt maker to be able to work with the culture. These can be picked up online reasonably cheap (less than £20). If you are looking for a thicker, more traditional style yoghurt, our Bulgarian yoghurt starter is a great place to start.
It produces a wonderfully creamy, slightly tart yoghurt with a great overall thickness. The flavour of Bulgarian yoghurt is very special. We quickly fell in love with this culture and it has become a daily part of our lives here ever since discovering it. It contains two specific strains of bacteria, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus (often simply called Lactobacillus bulgaricus) and Streptococcus salivarius subspecies thermophilus (often shortened to Streptococcus thermophilus). If you are looking for a yoghurt with a similar thickness to that of supermarket yoghurt, you will love this variety.
To activate your yoghurt, boil 250ml of whole pasteurised milk and allow it to cool back to room temperature. Add the dried starter culture and stir it into the milk. Stir it for at least 2 minutes to ensure it is fully incorporated. Place it in the yoghurt maker for 4-12 hours until you notice that the milk has thickened and started to turn into yoghurt. This usually happens at around 6 hours.
If your yoghurt maker has a temperature setting, the ideal temperature is 42 degrees. Not all yoghurt makers have this setting. If not, don't worry. It will be around that temperature by default.
Place it into the fridge and leave it for at least 2 hours to set. Remove two tablespoons from the mixture for the next batch and follow the instructions below. You can consume the remainder of the yoghurt left after removing the two tablespoons.
Feel free to experiment with flavouring your yoghurt. The important thing to remember is to always remove enough Bulgarian yoghurt to reculture the next batch before you add any flavourings.
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