When I was younger, I’d ask my parents/grandma how to properly make labneh. The instruction that stuck out most to me was, “when you can keep your finger in the milk for 10 seconds, add the yogurt.” I think I’m giving a lot away about myself by saying, this boggled my mind. Such a simple instruction was so confusing to me. Does the countdown exceed 10 seconds, and if it does, is it too late? What if my nerves can no longer determine the accurate temperature of something because I’ve touched too many hot foods? How much of the finger needs to be immersed into the milk? WHY AM I STICKING MY FINGER IN THE FOOD I’M PREPARING?! Would you believe other recipes I’ve found online say the exact same thing?
Don’t fret. Here’s a fool-proof recipe that’s a bit more, technical, than the instruction above.
- 1/2 gallon whole milk
- 1 cup whole fat yogurt
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- Bring milk to a light boil over cooking over medium-high heat. Stir frequently from the bottom of the pot to avoid creating a film.
- Remove milk from heat, cover, and let it rest until it reaches 115-120 degrees F.
- Stir in yogurt. Cover with lid, and wrap the pot in a heavy towel. Let it rest for 24 hours at room temperature.
- Once the texture is yogurt, add salt and stir well.
- If you finish the process here, you'll have yogurt. Refrigerate it in an air-tight container.
- To continue with labneh, pour yogurt into a cheesecloth or paper towel-lined strainer that sits in a large bowl. Cover yogurt with the paper towel/cheesecloth. Rest in fridge for 24 hours.
- Be sure to pour out the liquid that accumulates every so often to avoid it seeping back into the yogurt.
- After 1 day, your labneh will be ready to store in an air tight container in the fridge.
- Tip: Garnish with olive oil, mint leaves, za'tar, and eat with your choice of vegetables, bread, or olives.