Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How To Make Yogurt At Home

So, I learned to make my own organic yogurt at home using this site, and making yogurt is an easy, natural process.  To make yogurt at home you’ll need:
  • Organic milk
  • A small amount of organic starter yogurt with live cultures, plain (it must be live cultures) approx. 2-3T
  • A food thermometer
  • A cooking pot large enough to hold the amount of milk you’ve put aside
  • A heating pad
  • A clean dishtowel or two
  • A clean spoon for stirring, preferably metal.
  • Several small containers, such as a jar or bowl (glass or metal preferred)
  • A larger container, such as a crockpot sleeve, terracotta pot or canner.
Put the milk over medium heat, and start to warm. Do not scald the milk! Bring it up gradually to the temperature of 185ºF. Do not overcook. Holding the temperature at 185º for 30 minutes will result in thicker yogurt, more like Greek yogurt which is the kind I enjoy.  You can cook it for less, for a more runny style if that's your thing. (You can also add dried milk powder if you like to thicken, though I don’t much like the taste of dried milk powder myself and have had mixed results). Lower the heat on the stove, or turn it off, and cool the milk back down to 110ºF. Milk warmer than that will not propagate the live cultures. Once cooled down, stir in your 2-3T of yogurt with live culture.

Pour the yogurt into the small sterilized container(s). (I tend to use recycled glass jars with metal lids, and I sterilize them in boiling water after they’ve been cleaned). Place the heating pan at the bottom of your crockpot insert or whatever you’re using, and place one dishtowel on top of the pad, put your larger container on a cutting board or other heat-proof protector. Carefully put your jars inside, keeping the movement to a minimum. Place the other dishtowel around or on top to cover the small containers and keep them dark. If you have a lid to your container, you can use that, too. Turn the heating pad on a low-to-medium setting. Then, leave it for seven hours. I usually make yogurt in the evening and leave it overnight so my Greek yogurt ready to eat in the morning.

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