Beyond Alton Brown

A while ago I posted my recipe for making yogurt, in which I slavishly imitated Alton Brown’s stern admonition to not heat the milk past 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Last week I made a bonehead mistake while making my regular batch of yogurt; I turned off the alarm on the probe thermometer, but forgot to turn off the heat on the milk. As a result, I ended up boiling my milk and cream mixture for about 15 minutes.

It turns out that this makes your yogurt a lot better.

It does this in two ways. First off, it denatures some of the proteins in the milk so you end up with a lot less whey to pour off. I suppose somewhere there is someone whose biggest thrill in life is drinkin' a nice tall cool glass of whey, but that someone is not me. The texture of the yogurt when you boil the milk is more uniform, and less gelatinous.

Second, you can tell by taste that the milk has been boiled. The finished yogurt acquired a very subtle, but noticeable, panna cotta flavor.

I tried to convince myself that having yogurt that tasted a little like panna cotta was somehow a bad thing. I failed. It’s awesome.

So, less wastage, a nicer texture, and a more interesting taste. There is only one rational conclusion: when making yogurt, boil that milk, chowhounds!