There are many things that folks have lost the knowledge of, like making the simple things. Our ancestors (and not that far back) knew these things. We have become dependent on the convenience of finding everything we need on the grocery store shelf. Large corporations, that want you to buy their product, plant the seed of fear and doubt that we can not make things ourselves because there must be some kind of secret process or it’s not safe.
Ok, sorry, I’ll get off my soap box (for now).
I just made yogurt. Right here in my kitchen. There was no secret process. It is entirely safe. I consulted a few books and a few internet sites. Each gave the same general information. Using all those sources here’s the recipe I came up with.
- 1 quart whole milk (pasturized, not ultra-pasteurized. Raw milk is good to use but pricey & hard to come by.)
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt with live cultures ( this will be my starter. Once I have made my own, I can use that as a starter for the next 3-4 batches. Then I’ll need to start over.)
- A large pot
- Thermometers (one for checking the temp of the milk & an oven thermometer for checking the temp in the incubator)
- Quart jar or container
- A cooler
- Jars of hot water
- Bath towel
- Heat the milk to about 140°. ( Or, Bring it just to a boil.) Stirring to keep it from forming skin. Remove from heat to cool.
- While the milk is cooling, place the jars of hot water & the oven thermometer in the cooler. Place the towel on top & cover with cooler lid.
- Once the milk has cooled to about 115°, whisk the yogurt starter & 1/2 cup of the milk together until smooth. Pour into the quart jar.
- Pour the rest of the milk into the quart jar & stir. Put the lid on the jar & place inside the cooler with the hot water jars. Check the temp, it should be between 100°-115°.
- In a few hours it should start setting up. Keep checking the temp in the cooler every few hours. Replace the water in the jars as needed to keep the temp right.
- Once the yogurt has become firm, place it in the fridge.
It works! You can now eat it as you wish. I like mine with granola or my homemade grape nuts cereal. You can mix in some jelly or jam, fresh fruit or make smoothies with it.
Everyone here eats yogurt, including the dogs, cats, chickens and ducks. The yogurt I made yesterday (my first batch) passed the taste test with all of us. It was really good. Now that I know the process, I’ll be making larger batches.
One day we hope to have goats. The milk they provide can be made into cheese & yogurt. Having the knowledge of how to make these things will be an asset. Learning to make cheese is next on the list!
Methods of incubation for Homemade Yogurt:
In my research I found several methods of incubation. I chose the cooler method because it used very little electricity (just enough to get the hot water from the tap).
- Yogurt in the crockpot
- Yogurt in the oven
- Yogurt in a gas oven
- Yogurt with a heating pad
- Yogurt in a picnic cooler
Tip: In my research it was suggested that you use whole milk until you get the process down. Then try low fat milk in your future batches.
I completely forgot to mention that the milk and the yogurt used for the starter were Organic!