If your self-isolating hoard of UHT milk tastes awful in tea, here’s the answer: homemade yoghurt plus the vital ingredient for a simple bread. Two for the price of one.
The yoghurt is blissfully simple: just heat half a litre of UHT milk to 43.5 degrees Celsius and pour in to a container with a lid. Stir a tablespoon or so of plain natural yoghurt (ideally without any additives) in to the milk. Put on the lid and keep at the same temperature for 8-10 hours.
I’m lucky enough to have a sous-vide water bath that will maintain the pre-set temperature but you could experiment: perhaps a vacuum flask wrapped up in a freezer bag or insulated cooler.
Pour the yoghurt through a sieve lined with muslin and leave to drain to reach the consistency you want: the longer it drains, the less you make but the thicker it becomes.
Don’t waste the milky liquid that drains off. Mix 250g of plain flour with 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and a good pinch of salt. Pour in just under 200ml of the drained liquid and form the mix into a soft dough. Quickly knead into a rough ball and place on to a floured baking sheet. Slash a cross into the top and cook in a pre-heated oven at Gas 6, 200C for about 30 minutes. Knock the bottom to check if it sounds hollow – if not, return it to the oven upside down for a couple of minutes. Eat the same day with homemade soup or it will toast well for breakfast.
You can experiment with the yoghurt: try adding orange zest at the start , add milk powder for thicker results.
When life feels tough, it can be very satisfying to try something new, that’s created with the simplest ingredients and that you can perfect to impress family and friends when you see them next.