Goat milk yoghurt: Part One
Goats that produce milk in winter
I’ve broken up ice sheets and tossed out the 5 to 7mm thick ice from the cows’ trough five of the past seven mornings. That’s what we get when temperatures drop overnight to -3 or -4 degrees Celsius. Waking up several mornings in a row to a white frosting on the grass in the middle of winter a reassuring marker, despite the warming climate, of a winter season here in the Fairlie Basin.
A goat that you can milk through the winter is not something you can take for granted. The British Alpine breed or a goat with a goodly percentage of Alpine in its genetic makeup should milk through the winter for you. Most of the other breeds will dry up, whether in kid or not.
Gretchen, Minnie, and the kids
We put a goat breeder’s Toggenburg buck over our British Alpine-Saanen cross doe. June’s been milking their daughter Minnie this winter. We won’t be putting her to a buck until next autumn. Come spring, Minnie’s yield will go up, and we’ll also start to get milk from Gretchen, a young doe who is in kid for the first time.
Minnie’s still got the two doe kids she had last season taking milk from her as well. We’ll keep the one that, from the look of her, has inherited more British Alpine traits. June puts them in the kid enclosure overnight – otherwise there would be no milk for us.
A morning’s milking, now it’s the middle of winter, yields about three quarters of a litre. Enough to soak June’s breakfast oats, give us a glass of milk each at lunchtime, make a litre of yoghurt twice a week, and still have a little over for other uses.
Homemade yoghurt for breakfast
In our household, homemade yoghurt is an essential ingredient of a healthy breakfast. I use four dessertspoons dissolved in half a cup of warm water to partially ferment (overnight in a warm airing cupboard), half a cup of steel cut oats. My porridge (made from the steel cut oats), and June’s rolled oats that are soaked in milk overnight, get smothered with generous dollops of yoghurt.
You really don’t need to add milk powder!
I’ll tell you how June goes about making yoghurt next week, and give you the recipe that she uses. One ingredient we don’t use these days is milk powder. You’ll find it suggested as the way to thicken homemade yoghurt, which tends to have a similar consistency to custard.
Before we came across the recipe we now use, we’d reluctantly add a couple of tablespoons of milk powder to the somewhat runny mix; reluctant because of our aversion to all things processed to the nth degree. The food we normally eat and the food we most enjoy has nothing or very little in the way of refined ingredients.
We felt like we were polluting our homemade yoghurt. What a find the new recipe turned out to be. We don’t add any milk powder; it’s still a great consistency, plenty thick enough for our liking, and it tastes delicious.
That’s all from Little Owl Gully for this week. See next Monday’s post for Goat Milk Yoghurt: Part Two.
Bye for now. Thanks for your company.