Home made Yogurt
I get a great feeling of satisfaction when I open up the fridge door and see my jars of home made yogurt!
Its SO easy to make, and when you compare the costs of buying from the supermarket, you can save a lot of money.
We go through a lot of yogurt in a week. To purchase a container of yogurt of 750ml is about $3.50 to $4.00. To make it from scratch is about $1.
You have to start with a bit of store bought. Any plain yogurt will do, even organic. You just need a few tablespoons to add as your culture, roughly 1 tablespoon per 500 ml. I have heard that if you purchase a good quality yogurt for starter, you can spoon it into ice-cube trays and freeze it for future batches of home made yogurt. Just make sure you put the frozen yogurt cubes into a zip lock freezer bag to keep fresh. There are also dried cultures that you can purchase.
Make sure all your utensils and vessels are very clean. You need enough jars (glass or ceramic) to hold the quantity of yogurt you are making. You can make single serving size jars or try larger wide mouth jars that you can easily put a scoop into. Sterilizing them in boiling water is a good idea.
Measure the quantity of milk you require into a pot. I put this pot into another one and double boil it to prevent scalding.
Bring the milk up to a temperature of about 180 degrees F. Just before it boils. Then turn it off and let the yogurt cool down to around 100 degrees F. You can speed this up by putting the pot into the sink with ice cold water. Use a thermometer if you have one, but it’s not necessary, just make sure the milk is just warm when a drop is put on the back of your hand.
When cooled to 100 degree F. add the starter. You can wisk it into the pot of milk, or mix a little in a measuring cup with some of the warm milk to break up the lumps, then add it to the pot. Non fat dry milk powder can also be added to make a thicker texture.
Pour the mixture into your CLEAN jars and place in your incubator. An incubator can be a number of things that work equally as well.
- your oven turned on to 200 degrees, then turned off with the oven light on. Put yogurt in oven and leave for 7 – 10 hours.
- A cooler with a lid. Put jars of very warm water around your yogurt filled jars and put the lid on. Check it in 4 hours and replenish the water with warmer water. Should be set in another 4 hours, but sometimes takes a little longer.
- A heating pad set on low with the yogurt jars set on top, with a towel or a cardboard box over top. Again 7-10 hours and its set.
- If you have a yogurt maker it restricts you to single serving size, but they work great.
Experiment with different milks. Whole, organic, goat, or soy are a nice change.
Enjoy your yogurt, and be happy with the fact that you just saved a bunch of money and you won’t have those numerous plastic containers that you must recycle or add to the landfill!