There's only one tricky part. Can you guess? It's finding that sweet spot, that perfectly warm under-a-mama-duck type place where the milk can sit undisturbed and transform into creamy tangy healthy yogurt. Most places in the house are either too warm, or too cold. If the temperature is too high, the bacteria will die, and if it's too low, they won't multiply. It's understandable, really, you are attempting to create and maintain the conditions necessary for life itself, which, as it turns out, are pretty exacting
So I finally broke down and bought a yogurt maker on Cyber Monday. I did a little research and this one is inexpensive, well reviewed, and makes the yogurt in a large batch, (up to 1/2 gallon) not in small individual containers like most makers do. You can also use a mason jar or any other jar of your own, too, which is unusual. What I like about it is that it's low tech. It simply surrounds the yogurt in warm water kept at the right constant temperature. It works and it takes the annoying uncertainty out of the whole deal. It's small and there's nothing to clean except the container for the yogurt, which doubles as a storage container. I've made 2 batches so far and both have been creamy and delicious.
Homemade yogurt is creamier and nicer tasting than store bought. It's actually less sharp and tangy, which is a good thing, if you ask me. Plus you can flavor it as you make it, using add-ins like vanilla beans, espresso powder, almond extract, or anything you like. I eat my morning yogurt with citrus sections, honey, and wheatgerm.
1 quart whole milk
1/2 cup yogurt with live cultures (I like Total) or 5 grams packaged yogurt starter
- Heat the milk in a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat until the temperature reaches 180. The milk will look like it's just about to boil. Use a digital thermometor to check the temperature, and stir before you check it.
- Take off the heat and let the milk cool to 112 degrees.
- Whisk in the yogurt or starter, make sure it's completely mixed in, and then either pour the milk into your yogurt machine, or set the pot, covered, in a warm spot for about 4 to 6 hours. You can try inside an oven with a pilot light, or on a counter wrapped in a heating pad or electric blanket on low. Don't move, stir, or disturb the yogurt while it sits.
- Refrigerate the thickened yogurt overnight, and then enjoy.
I'm not being paid to say this, and unfortunately nobody gave me a free yogurt maker, but I think this would make a great gift, too!
One year ago today---