Who else can't believe that February is almost over? 2012 is seriously flying by...
I don't make resolutions for the New Year, but I do make a little list in my mind of things I want to do more of. And this year one of those things was to make more home dairy products. I acquired this little gem of a book, Home Dairy, which gives detailed instructions and helpful tips for making all kinds of your own dairy. I've already tried cheese and butter, and today I tackled yogurt.
It's so simple that I have a feeling this will be a repeated project every few weeks. I never want to buy yogurt again!
Here is how I made it...
slightly adapted from Home Dairy
4 cups whole, low-fat, or skim milk (I used skim)
3 Tablespoons live yogurt (make sure the container says it contains "live, active cultures")
Or in place of the live yogurt you can use 1 packet dried yogurt culture.
Heat the milk until it almost reaches boiling, about 180 degrees Fahrenheit. A candy thermometer is very useful here.
Remove milk from the heat and let cool until 110 - 115 degrees F. Add 3 Tablespoons prepared yogurt or your dried yogurt culture. I let my prepared yogurt come to room temp while I heated and cooled the milk before adding it.
Once fully incorporated, pour into glass jars. I used recycled jars from pasta sauces, well washed of course.
Once in jars or containers for storing, let the yogurt temperature stay between 110 - 115 for about 6 hours. I preheated my crockpot on low, then added the glass jars and secured the lid, and then turned the crockpot off. This should give your yogurt a warm place to culture for the next 6 hours.
Other methods include pouring the yogurt into a thermos, in a cooler with jars of hot water, or in a preheated but off oven.
Refrigerate and use within 1-2 weeks.
Note: Homemade yogurt tends to be thinner in consistency than its store-bought counterpart. If you prefer your yogurt to have a thick consistency, try adding 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin in the first step while heating your milk. Or you can also try adding dry powdered milk, 3-4 tablespoons during the first step.