Thursday, August 7

Making Yogurt

Making Yogurt 3

I make my own yogurt. Yep. I do.

I don't like all the unnecessary sugar (and other things) in store bought flavored yogurt and Chaz doesn't like yogurt that is not smooth so I started buying plain yogurt and flavoring it myself. Then Chris, the gadget guy, bought me a little yogurt maker. It took me a while to really get into it but once I did - there's no going back! Homemade yogurt is so very easy, so good and pretty economical, too. (and guess what - you don't even need a yogurt maker!)

I have 2 different recipes for yogurt. They are both good. Chris, however, has a little trouble with dairy sometimes so I switched to the first recipe and he is much happier.

Making Yogurt 1

Yogurt #1

3 3/4 c water
1 2/3 c powdered milk
1/4 c plain yogurt with active live cultures

Heat the water to 110º. Stir in the powdered milk and then the yogurt.

Yogurt #2

4 c milk (any kind, cow, soy, goat)
1/3 c powdered milk *
1/4 c plain yogurt with active live cultures

*if you use whole milk, you can leave the powdered milk out. If you use no-fat or low-fat milk the powdered milk adds a little richness and creaminess

Heat the milk to 175º and then cool to 110º. Stir in the powdered milk and then the yogurt.

Yogurt Maker

This is the yogurt maker I have. I just put the mixture in and let it go for my desired* amount of time.

You can, however, make yogurt in the oven or even a crock pot.

In the oven:

Heat the oven to 110º and then turn it off. You may need to set the oven a bit higher and then let it cool back down a little. Place your yogurt mixture in to canning jars, cover with the lids and place on a pan in the warm oven. You can wrap them in a warm towel to help hold in the heat. Let it go for the desired* amount of time checking the oven temperature periodically. It should stay around 100º.

In the crock pot:

If you have a warm setting, use that. If not, heat some water on low and check the temperature. You don't want it to get too hot (about 110º is perfect). Place the yogurt mixture in caning jars and put the tops on. Place in to the warm crock pot with enough water to come about half way up the jar. Cover with a folded towel to hold the heat in and let it go for the desired* amount of time.

* How long? You can let it go anywhere from 5-10 hours. It's pretty forgiving. The longer it "cooks" the tangier it will be. I've let it go for as long as 12 and then it made some pretty good sour cream. You just need to experiment to figure out how long you like it. I usually average about 8.

Making Yogurt 2

When it is done, immedietly take out 1/4 cup for your next batch and set it aside in the fridge (if you don't and you're like me, you'll forget and eat it all. Then you'll have to go buy more yogurt just to make yogurt). Chill the rest of the yogurt. Homemade yogurt is not exactly like store bought. There's no added gelatins or pectins to make it really thick. I don't like it too runny so if my yogurt is a little thinner than I like (check after it cools, it thickens as it cools) I thicken it up a bit by straining it. I put it in to a strainer with a thin flour sack towel and drain it for 5 minutes. If you strain it longer, you can make a really great yogurt cheese. I also save the liquid that I drain off and use it when I make bread or soups.


Today's breakfast: homemade yogurt with strawberries, nectarines and chopped almonds.


coffeechris said...

Hi I came to your blog via bluebirdbaby your recipe for leeks and white beans. Been looking around and really enjoy your photos, recipes, etc. Thanks for the yogurt family has the same ideas about store bought and I remembered I have the same yogurt maker and sad to say I never tried it inspired take the homemade plunge instead of buying plain. Are there any other tips in using this machine? Do you usually use 8 hours? I do like it a bit tangier, and nice texture. Thanks - I'm adding you to my blog feed.

Emily said...

Hi Chris and welcome!

Pull out that yogurt maker and give it a shot! It really is so easy.

8 hours is about what I usually use. Sometimes a bit longer if I forget but I do shoot for 8.

Let me know how it works for you!