We’d always known that you could make your own endless supply of yogurt and that all you needed was a small container of yogurt to provide the active cultures. We’d been planning to try it out for several months but we kept putting it off because, well, the idea of making our own yogurt was intimidating. Somehow, to us, it ranked up there with making your own wine or cheese.
Well, last night, we finally tried making our own yogurt- and boy, we wish we’d done it sooner. There was absolutely nothing to it. It was really easy!
- We took 4 cups of milk and heated it to boiling until it was 180-185 degrees F (use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature).
- We then cooled it to 105 degrees F, and mixed in 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt from a container that we had bought at the store (make sure that it says ‘contains active cultures’ on the label). It’s a good idea to leave the 2 tablespoons of yogurt out on the counter so that it’s not too cold when you add it into the milk.
- After pouring the yogurt mixture into clean containers and covering tightly with a lid, we slid them into the oven, which we had on ‘warm’ (between 105 to 122 degrees F) to encourage the incubation process.
- This morning when we got up, we checked on the mixture, which had been incubating for at least 8 hours, and found, to our delight, that we had made our very first batch of yogurt, complete with the whey (the thin, yellow liquid that forms on the surface) and slightly tangy yogurt scent.
- We then placed the yogurt in the fridge and left it there until it’s ready to be used. As for flavorings, we’re going to experiment wtih vanilla bean, blueberry and strawberry for starters and see which ones we like the best.
A few notes:
- Apparently, this batch will keep for 1-2 weeks.
- If we want thicker yogurt, we could add 1/4 to 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk. It also increases the nutritional content! (Given that we typically don’t keep any powdered milk in the house, we didn’t put any last night when we made it.)
- If we wanted to use some of it as starter, we’d need to use it within 5-7 days so that the bacteria can still grow.
(By the way, I scrounged through the kitchen and made myself a fruit-and-yogurt parfait for lunch today and it was dee-lish! I took the photo at the top of this blog so you could see! -Dez)