Making homemade yogurt is simple, delicious, cheaper to make and better for you than most store bought yogurt. Homemade yogurt is fermented for 24 hours, to insure that the majority of the lactose (milk sugar) is used up and the probiotic cultures are at maximum strength ready to maintain healthy digestive flora. Another benefit to making your own yogurt is the option to eliminate plastic containers!
Since this recipe does not include thickening agents, it is pourable, with a texture similar to thick cream. We make our house yogurt with whole milk delivered to our door by a regional dairy, whose milk is not aggregated with other dairies and shipped out of state to become homogenized and pasteurized prior to distribution back to the local economy. Their dairy products are processed in their own regional facility, resulting in products up to a week fresher than most dairy products on grocery shelves, with a noticeably sweeter, fresher taste.
We serve our tipi guests house made granola with yogurt and a dollop of one of our jams or jellies for those who like things sweeter....yogurt makes a great base for fruit smoothies as well!
You will need:
1 quart pasteurized whole cow or goat milk, preferably organic. I use only full fat milk, since the process of removing any or all of the fat also removes many of the nutrients in the milk.
4 Tbsp Greek style purchased yogurt (this is for the first batch; after that, use your own yogurt to start the next
Here’s what’s cool: you don’t need any special equipment.
It is not necessary to scald the milk, since pasteurization removed potential pathogens before you bought the milk. Simply put your two ingredients into a clean container, mix thoroughly to disperse the yogurt, and then insulate for 24 hours at 99-100 degrees. The important thing is to maintain a constant temperature and not overheat, since this will kill the live cultures.
Options for temperature control:
Wrap your jar in a towel and put it on a heating pad set to low
Warm the milk gently to 100 degrees before adding the yogurt, then put it in a thermos in a warm place
Use a purchased yogurt maker to achieve and maintain the temperature
Use a sous vide (pictured: this nifty tool precisely heats and circulates water around the waterproof container holding the food, and has become an essential kitchen tool in our house). We eat yogurt daily and serve it to our guests, so I make 5 quarts of yogurt at a time in a large kettle; I simply set up my jars, set the temp and come back in 24 hours for perfect yogurt every time.
I love to add fresh pressed garlic to yogurt and serve it with vegetable fritters or add it to salad dressing. Finely chopped cucumbers are also a nice addition when using it for a savory sauce.