Yesterday I made a large batch of yogurt, something I haven’t done in a while. I had forgotten how extremely easy it is to make, and it’s about a third of the price of the least expensive store yogurt! I made a very large recipe of 1.5 gallons (24 cups), but the recipe below is for a more moderate amount.
- 2 c. milk
- 2 T. yogurt to use as bacterial starter (look for any plain yogurt at the store that says it has bacteria in it – eg. acidophilus- you can get the smallest cup size sold)
I used organic whole milk, but you can use any kind of milk you want. Put the milk in a pot, and heat it until almost boiling, 180 degrees. I have a candy thermometer for this, which eliminates the guesswork. Once it reaches that heat, turn off the heat and let it cool down to between 105 and 110 degrees.
Stir in the yogurt. Don’t let the temperature go below 105 degrees before you pour into a jar, then cover the jar with a lid. Now put the jar somewhere warm where it can incubate overnight. An oven set to 100 degrees is perfect, but you can also put the jar into a picnic cooler. If you’re using a cooler, line it with a towel, put the jar in, and cover it with a towel. Some people put a heating pad set on low on top of the towel, or a hot water bottle, to keep the temperature constant, but if you make several jars of yogurt, then the heat from the jars will keep all of them warm without anything extra. It should be ready within eight to twelve hours.
I did a couple of things that made the process even easier. First of all, I left the yogurt to incubate in the covered pot I heated it in. Then I removed the trays from my dehydrator and put the entire pot inside (set at 100 degrees). And that was all we had to do, except eat large quantities of it for breakfast.
You can add flavorings if you like. This morning I had mine with some fruit spread that I canned a while back, and it reminded me of a healthy version of the yogurt cups with fruit at the bottom when mixed together.