Skyr is an Icelandic dairy product. It has the consistency of a thick, almost curd like yogurt, but a milder flavor.
Skyr is an Icelandic dairy product. It has the consistency of a thick, almost curd like yoghurt, but a milder flavor. Make it at home with this Skyr starter culture!
What is yoghurt?
Yoghurt, also spelled yogurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a food product produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yoghurt are known as yoghurt cultures. Fermentation of sugars in the milk by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yoghurt its texture and characteristic tart flavor. Cow’s milk is commonly available worldwide and, as such, is the milk most commonly used to make yoghurt. Milk from water buffalo, goats, ewes, mares, camels, yaks and plant milk are also used to produce yogurt. The milk used may be homogenized or not. It may be pasteurized or raw. Each type of milk and each type of starter produces substantially different results.
What is skyr?
Skyr is an Icelandic dairy product. It has the consistency of a thick, almost curd-like yoghurt, but a milder flavor. Skyr lies somewhere in between cheese and yoghurt. You can make it as strained yoghurt, or even add a drop of rennet for extra thickness.
It is made from skimmed milk so it contains only traces of fats that’s why it is considered healthier than regular yoghurts. Skyr has three and half times more proteins than regular yoghurt and two and a half time more than Greek yoghurt. These high levels of proteins present in Skyr make this a yogurt equivalent to two and a half portions of dairy, which can substitute meat, fish, or eggs.
The major health benefits of skyr include:
- It helps in preserving and reinforcing muscle mass; best for people who practice sports or want to lose weight.
- Due to high Calcium content, it decreases the rate of osteoporosis.
- It helps in regulating bowel movement and reduces the activity of pylori that may cause stomach infections.
- This protein-rich meal leads to a decrease in appetite and a delay in subsequent eating.
- It is rich in probiotics means skyr will be responsible for destroying the toxic bacteria invading the digestive tract.
- Skyr is also associated with the improvement of the immune system, decreasing levels of cholesterol, and diminishing the risk of colon cancer.
Thermophilic yoghurt variant
Please note, this is a thermophilic, warmth-loving, yoghurt type. So you need a warm place, such as a yoghurt maker, sous vide device, steam oven, or instant pot to make it. Please see below for details.
Content Skyr starter culture
- 1 gram of heirloom thermophilic dry skyr starter
- Enough for the rest of your life, check the instructions below
- Made in the UK
- Allergens: milk
- Contents: milk, starter cultures
S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, L. lactis
Why a dried starter?
- dried starters have a long shelf life
- easy to ship/take with you, also abroad
- does not deteriorate due to transportation
- light in weight (shipping)
- you can buy them even if you do not plan to make yoghurt that week
- you can keep some in hand in case your fresh yoghurt gets worse in quality
- after activation, the action of dried yoghurt as a starter is identical to fresh yoghurt
Storage instructions Skyr starter culture
In the fridge or freezer. Also, store the yogurt starter in a Ziploc bag after use or in a vacuumed container. The starter is very hydrophilic – if moisture gets into the pack it will degrade the quality. Shelf life at least one year in the freezer, but longer in practice.
How do you make skyr?
Yoghurt maker, steam oven or instant pot, cheese cloth
Activating your starter
- Take 1 liter of sterilized milk (or pasteurized milk that has been heated to 90 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes and then cooled).
- Add half of the skyr starter to the milk and stir VERY well. The other half can be kept as a back up.
- Leave at room temperature for a few hours and stir some more. It is important that all of the starter has dissolved.
- Put this milk in your yoghurt maker, steam oven or whatever you plan to use.
- Ferment the milk at 40-45 degrees C for about 10 hours and, if necessary, a multiple of 2 hours longer. Be patient. There may be some separation (whey and yoghurt) which is normal.
- Drain (preferably in the refrigerator) in a clean towel, coffee filter, cheesecloth or sturdy kitchen paper overnight or as long as you like.
- You can use one tablespoon of this skyr to grow new skyr.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
- From now on you can also play with other types of milk: cows, sheep, goats, skim milk, whole milk, raw, etc. Or prepare it with cream. Note that it is difficult to make yoghurt, especially from pasteurized milk, as the texture will remain thin. Heat the milk to 90 ° C for a few minutes and let it cool again. This ensures better consistency. Sterilized milk does not need to be heated.
- Optionally use a drop of rennet for a firmer skyr
- The skyr will only get it’s thickness after draining
- Sometimes a dried yogurt starter needs a second ‘fermentation round’ to get it’s full potential. This means using a spoonfull of the first batch to start a second. The second batch will be better.
Creating a mother starter
Instead of draining the skyr, you can freeze the skyr in ice cube bags at this stage. You can use each cube to make new skyr.
Buying a Skyr starter culture?
Order your Skyr starter culture at startercultures.eu, the European webshop for all your fermentation needs’. By Meneer Wateetons, renowned Dutch fermentation expert and author. Order on weekdays before 3 pm and we’ll ship the same day. Questions on the usage of the vegan cheese starter kit? Ask them in our chat, we’ll here to help!
Online on demand workshop ‘how to make vegan cheese at home’ (subtitled)
During this English subtitled workshop you will learn the theory and practice of making vegan cheeses at home, with a focus on vegan camembert and vegan blue cheese . Foodwriter ‘Meneer Wateetons’, author of several books on fermentation and alternative food preparation techniques, will teach you all about fermentation, curing salts, food safety, pH, starter cultures, molds and drying conditions. Click here for more info.