Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Making your own yogurt

We're not milk drinkers, but we do love to eat live culture yogurt with homemade applesauce and granola for breakfast - mmmm - a great alternative to our usual winter oatmeal.  We try to make our own yogurt as often as possible, and it's much more economical, as well as satisfying, to do so.
Here is our easy no-fail yogurt method:

You will need:
1 gallon (4 litres) milk (use raw, or not ultra high pasteurized milk)
1/4 cup live culture yogurt from your last batch (or from the store)
Dairy/candy thermometre
Clean sterilized mason jars, rings and lids

Large stainless steel pot
Wooden spoon
Several towels or old blanket

Heat the milk to just under 100F (do not go over 100F, as this kills the living cultures).  Heat over low to medium heat to avoid scalding, and stir occasionally.  Have your jars ready - washed, dried, and sterilized by pouring boiling water in them.  Set them into a heat proof baking pan (I use a large glass cake pan).

When milk has warmed sufficiently, take off heat and gently stir in the yogurt culture.  Pour into your clean jars, cap with lids but do not tighten lids too much.  Pour boiled water into the pan around the jars, and wrap in old towels.  Set in a warm, draft-free place like a kitchen counter.  Add more hot water throughout the day to keep the temperature as even as possible.  Other people set the jars on a heating pad, or near a wood stove or oven.  The milk will still form yogurt if you don't keep heat even, but it will be a nicer thicker yogurt if it's warmed longer...pour off the whey which may have separated, and use this in smoothies, or baking, etc.

Unwrap the next day, after aprox. 24 hours.  Add honey or fruit if you like for sweetener.  Refrigerate and make sure to reserve a little of this yogurt for your next batch!  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I just made yoghurt for the first time! I see we have a lot in common really - I also am a natural mama, and make my own longies. I'm setting up an urban homestead, but my blog is only about that and not the parenting as much