I am so thankful that on our new diet we are allowed to eat yogurt, granted, we have to make our own from scratch and ferment it for 24 hours, but I don't mind at all. The end result is a creamy pot of comfort. Toss in some berries, top it off with a little honey and I'm one happy Coco. Now don't think that all yogurt has to firm up in 24 hours, that is just how we make ours. If you have a yogurt maker you can make it in 3-4 hours or if you want to use your oven on a low temperature for 4-6 hours that will work too! (We ferment ours for 24 hours to get rid of all lactose in the milk)
The key with making superb yogurt is to have a good, cultered starter. I personally like Yogourmet's starter packets because the end result is a little more on the tart side. If you want to keep things real simple you can use store bought yogurt but it must contain REAL and ACTIVE cultures. I suggest Stonyfield Farms or Nancy's Plain Yogurt. For more tips on choosing a starter read this great article.
Making homemade yogurt is so easy and a healthy alternative to buying store bought yogurt with additives and sugar. Plus, I've done the math and it saves us money each month! This recipe is for plain yogurt but you can add all sorts of goodies to it once it has set and been refrigerated.
So give it a try, and don't be scared.....it's easy and so rewarding!
(I made mine in our dehydrator which was perfect because it kept a consistent temperature. If you want to use a yogurt maker follow the instructions in your manual. If you want to try it in the oven see here)
- 1 quart of milk ( I like to use organic, whole milk but you can use 2% if you prefer, you can also use goats milk)
- 1 packet of Yogourmet starter OR 1/2 cup of store bought, cultured plain yogurt
1.) Put one quart of milk into a clean pot and heat slowly on a medium heat until the temperature reaches 180F degrees. Stir the milk from time to time to keep the bottom from scorching, and again before you take a final temp reading to make sure that the entire contents have reached 180 degrees. The purpose in heating the milk to this temperature is to kill any bacteria that might be present and interfere with the yogurt making culture.
2.) Turn the heat off and allow to cool to between 108 and 112 degrees F. Stir well before determining the final temperature. You may cover the pot with a clean tea towel while it cools. (I put my pot in the fridge to speed up this process, it took about 30 minutes) Once it has cooled use a spatula or rubber spoon to remove the film on top.
4.) If you use Yogourmet yogurt starter, put it into a measuring cup, add 1/2 cup of the cooled milk and mix it well until it seems well dissolved. Poor that mixture into your pot of milk and stir gently.
5.) Pour the milk mixture into your desired glass containers or yogurt maker containers. I used small mason jars.
7.) If you are using a yogurt maker use the incubating instructions in your manual. If you are using the oven method see here. If you want to use a dehydrator like I did see below....
8.) Place your jars into the dehydrator, put the door on and set the temperature for 105F.
***I incubate ours for 24 hours. But you could do it in about 5-7 hours***
9.) When the yogurt is finished, turn off the dehydrator and carefully put the yogurt into the fridge and let it rest for about 8 hours until it has cooled.