Sunday, April 22, 2012

Homemade Yogurt

We have become some very excited yogurt makers around here. This fun process is a recent discovery for us and we have been amazed at how good it feels to produce a product that we've routinely purchased throughout the years. And of course everyone, children included, are excited to try new varieties and techniques so no one here is going without enough calcium and protein.  That's a good thing.

Care to give it a go for yourself?

You will need:
Two quart mason jars
Half gallon of whole milk (we use raw local milk, but you can use any whole variety)
Live yogurt culture
Large pot 
Candy thermometer


Fill both mason jars with milk, and submerge them in a large pot filled with enough water to cover 3/4 of the jars. Put on stove and warm over medium heat until temperature reaches 175 or 180 degrees. This kills any bacteria in the milk.
 A film will cover the top of the jar.

Remove the jars of milk from water bath and let the milk cool to 110 degrees.
Add one package of live yogurt culture. It can be purchased at many natural food stores, or you can use yogurt (already made or purchased) with live cultures. (Note that after you use the same yogurt a few times the cultures may diminish and you should start again with a new batch or a package of live cultures like the one in the picture.)

 Stir it all in.
 Put lids on the jars, tightening only a bit (finger tight).
Place jars back in the water and put the entire pot into the oven. You don't need heat- just the light or pilot light will be enough to keep the cultures active. (You're aiming for 90 to 110 degrees.) Leave the jars in the oven for between 4-12 hours. Check frequently after four hours to test consistency- the longer you leave the jars in the oven, the thicker your yogurt will become.
When the yogurt has reached the desired consistency, refrigerate. The yogurt will thicken a bit more as it cools, so bear that in mind when you're determining when to stop the process.

Enjoy!

Try making homemade squeeze yogurt, or eating this with homemade granola, berries and honey. The tart flavor also makes a great substitute for sour cream. Yum!

What are some of your favorite ways to eat yogurt?

5 comments:

  1. My yogurt maker is awesome!! I generally strain out the whey (which can be used in place of water when baking bread) to make a nice thick greek style yogurt. I also use it in place of sour cream in baking and to make smoothies. Alas Jupiter will not eat it....maybe some day. Finally got her to eat homemade pizza again, so there's always hope.

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    Replies
    1. I try so hard not to take it personally when the kids don't eat something I make, but it's tough. Good for you for holding out hope... smile.

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  2. This is a great method, but I also love my large yogurt maker. I also add powdered milk at times. I now strain off the whey for a greek style and then using the whey in baking for half of each batch. Use yogurt in place of sour cream in almost all recipes.
    A favorite recipe around the house is a chocolate chip banana bread made with yogurt.
    Will be trying more of the suggested ways to use whey from this site - http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2011/06/16-ways-to-use-your-whey.html

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  3. Ah! Two comments about straining the whey out to use in baking? I feel a project coming on... I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks for the tips!

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