By Sara Johnson
While sous vide can perfectly cook a steak or an egg, the method’s mild temperatures can also aid in the production of another popular protein source: yogurt. In Dallas, the husband-and-wife-led company Milk & Patience Artisanal Products uses sous vide to produce their line of milk-based and vegan yogurts sold in local farmers markets and grocery stores.
“We joke that—it’s not even a joke really—that milk and patience are really all it takes to make great yogurt,” says co-owner Stephanie Gilewicz.
Launched in the summer of 2018, Milk & Patience today operates out of a commercial kitchen behind Stack’s Sandwich Co. in Dallas, producing Greek and vegan yogurt as well as ricotta and mozzarella cheese—with more offerings on the way. The company churns through about 150 gallons of milk each week, Gilewicz says. Yogurt flavors have included the expected, like mixed berry and vanilla, as well as the unexpected—ginger, lychee, and even seasonal flavors like gingerbread and Christmas cookie.
It’s a family-run small business, with the couple’s baby daughter and Gilewicz’s mother making appearances at farmer’s markets and on the company’s Instagram account. “It’s a project that was made with love, is still made with so much love, and at the end of the day I think that people can really kind of feel that and taste that,” Gilewicz says.
Milk & Patience added vegan yogurt to their product offerings in March. “We thought, okay, let’s do a vegan yogurt, but we have to make sure that we kind of stay in line with what we love about yogurt, which is thickness and texture,” Gilewicz says.
For the dairy yogurt, the company heats milk to 180°F, cools it to 110°F, adds the culture, and places in a sous vide pouch for cooking. For the non-dairy yogurt, the company heats coconut milk to 140°F and then adds low methoxyl pectin, tapioca starch, and “a touch of sugar.” The mixture is cooled to 110°F, culture is added, and it is placed in a sous vide pouch. Both are cooked in a 43°C (109.4°F) water bath. While the dairy yogurt cooks sous vide for between 3.5 and 5.5 hours, the vegan yogurt stays in the water bath for 20 to 22 hours. (Exact cook times vary depending on the flavor.) The dairy yogurt is then cold-strained for 24 hours after cooking.
“The sous vide method is always consistent, which is so incredibly important—for any business, but especially for a small business,” Gilewicz says. “The minute we lose our customer base, that’s it for us, so we wanted to make sure that we started off on the right foot and the sous vide method was just the way to go.”
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