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DIY Yogurt!

DIY Yogurt!

Today’s Tuesday tutorial is DIY yogurt!  Yup, homemade yogurt!  My mother-in-law first introduced me to this idea. Courtney’s mother also shared her recipe with me. Now we share with you!  It’s easier than you think!

All you need is milk, cream, and 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt!  (Some recipes don’t even require the cream, but HELLO?!? Who doesn’t like cream?) And once you make this yourself, you can use your own yogurt for the next batch and you’ll {theoretically} never have to buy yogurt again! So…here we go: let’s make yogurt!

This basic recipe uses:

  • 1 quart milk (I used whole organic milk, but regular milk should work just fine)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 3 T plain yogurt

To start, set out your 3T of yogurt while you’re gathering all the stuff, so it’s close to room temp by the time we need it. We’re going to be heating milk, and I used a double-boiler method (one big pot of water and a smaller pot of the milk sitting inside it) just to be on the safe side so as not to scald the milk.  {Or should that be “so as to not scald the milk”?…it’s too late for me to figure it out! I hope you get the drift!}

Go ahead and get your big pot half full of water and heat it up to boiling.  And while you’re waiting for water to boil you can fill the sink with cold water and ice cubes.

Add milk and cream together in a pot and heat it to 185 degrees (F) stirring constantly. 

Heating the milk and cream to 185 kills all the bacteria.  Once you reach 185 remove the pot of milk/cream from the heat and set it in your sink of cold water.

We’re waiting for the temperature of the milk mixture to cool down to 110 degrees (F) which is the temp our good yogurt-producing bacterial really like!   Once it’s down to 110, set the pot on a counter and pitch (a cool way of saying “add”) the yogurt to the milk and stir together.

Now we want to keep this mixture around 110 degrees undisturbed for 8-24 hours, and give that good bacteria a chance to do its thing.  You need to cover your mixture, and there’s a couple of ways you can keep it at the ideal constant temperature:

  • Courtney’s mom wraps the pot in a heavy bath towel and sets it in her oven with the oven light on for the 8-24 hrs.
  • This website is what my mother-in-law follows and it sets a heating pad on a medium setting under the pot and covers everything with a towel for seven hours. (Use a bread board to protect your counter!)
  • The method on this website only heats the milk to 100 degrees and just sets the jars of milk/yogurt mixture in a camping cooler filled with warm water! {For now I’ll play it safe and heat mine to 185 though!}
  • Wrap the covered pot in a bath towel and set it in a large crockpot on the WARM setting (not low!) without the crockpot cover for two hours.  Turn off the crockpot (and unplug it) and cover the whole thing with another towel and let it sit over night. Since I don’t have an oven with a light this is my preferred method. 

    Cover the pot with a towel too!

In the morning (or wait even longer if you want it a little tangy-er flavored yogurt) carefully lift the lid off the pot.  Hopefully you smell a cheesy, slightly sour smell and the milk mixture has congealed and looks something like this:

From here stir up your YOGURT and pour into containers…I used quart jars. Old yogurt containers work too.  Your yogurt will thicken a little once it’s refrigerated and cooled, but it will be runnier than the store-bought stuff since it’s the real deal with no added pectin or gelatin.  It should last about 3 weeks.  Feel free to double or even quadruple this recipe if you want to make a bigger batch.   Again, another way to customize your yogurt is to let it sit longer before you stir it up if you want it to have more tang.  And there you have it: your own yogurt!

This yogurt has no sweetener, so you can try adding a spoonful of your favorite jam for a fruity flavor or a smidge homemade vanilla extract and maple syrup for a really creamy yummy treat!  Oh, or you can eat it with homemade granola!!! That’ll have to be a future post.  And I better stop now…I’m getting hungry! :D

How do you like to eat yogurt?

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