The simple way to make YOGURT!!
For those interested in why it can be helpful to eat and make your own yogurt, check out my first blog about probiotics and let the adventure begin!
For those wanting to get straight to the punch, here is a step-by-step recipe:
- Small to medium stainless steel, glass or ceramic pot. It will work with Teflon but this type of pot is less ideal for yogurt.
- A basic mid-range (0-200°) thermometer with a clip
- A yogurt incubator. This can range from $20-30 on amazon, depending on if you use one with a self timer. I like the Euro-Cuisine brand.
- 1 large bowl
- Measuring cup and tablespoons
- 1 Quart/4 cups organic 2% or Whole Milk
- 2 tbsp of yogurt starter. Purchase a small cup of your favorite yogurt brand, without any additives, only pasturized whole milk and live yogurt cultures, option for an organic vanilla yogurt. Personally, I like Brown Cow Vanilla for a mild sweet flavor or the Maple Hill Creamery Plain yogurts for the pure at heart.
- Optional : Vanilla bean ground-up (excellent for flavor!
- 1 tbsp sugar. I like a mild sweetness so I add honey, sugar or maple Experiment with what you like.
1.) Wash all equipment with hot water and soap to eliminate any unwanted bacteria.
2.) Pour the milk quart (and optional sweetner and vanilla bean) into pot, clip on thermometer (avoiding the bottom of the pot) and start to simmer at a low to medium low heat.
3.) Gradually increase to a medium heat, taking approximately 15-20 minutes to heat to 120°,
4.) Avoid skin to form on the top of the milk with occasional stirring. I have not found a need to whisk frequently until closer to the end.
5.) After reaching 120°, take another 10-15 minutes to get the milk to 180°
6.) Hold the temp at 180° for 15-20 minutes by whisking frequently and turning the heat back down to low or very low.
7.) On a brief break from whisking create an ice bath for the pot to rest in and cool. This is not necessary, but it speeds up the process.
8.) After 15-20 minutes held at 180-190° remove the milk pot and put onto counter or into ice bath to cool, continue to whisk. This will only take a minute or two in an ice bath so get ready for the next step.
9.) Once the yogurt has cooled to 110-115°, mix your yogurt starter and a small amount of milk into a separate glass. This is the inoculation process warms the yogurt slowly without allowing the bacteria to die. Stir briefly and pour this starter mix back into the milk pot as a whole.
10.) Ladle or pour the milk into the yogurt containers.
11.) Incubate at 110° for 8 hours (yogurt incubators are automatically set to this temp.) Do not move the yogurt while it is incubating.
12.) After incubation period, refridgerate until at desired temp, and start eating!
This is a surprisingly forgiving process. Play with it. If you go off a degree of two, that’s okay. These are best practices but there is some wiggle room.
If your yogurt isn’t setting while incubating, it means the starter you used didn’t have live cultures. Don’t throw the whole batch out. Use it again, start the process again, with a different type of yogurt, paying close attention to the temperature and time you are spending at each juncture.
After your first time cooking yogurt, you will feel like a pro and won’t need to read the recipe into the future! It becomes second nature and doesn’t require your constant attention. Enjoy!!