Simple Homemade Yogurt

 

Homemade Yogurt

Simple Homemade Yogurt

Do any of you remember when bottled water first showed up on the shelves? How it seemed so ridiculous to buy a container with water in it when we could get the same for free at home? I remember my dad saying it was like buying a bottle of air.

So simple to make

Homemade yogurt is so simple to make at home from milk, that I wonder if the generations before us were equally perplexed when it showed up on the shelves. Paula has also written a post about making her own viili yogurt that’s pretty easy to make as well.

Of course, like bottled water, we come to appreciate and depend upon convenience items, but at a cost. For me, making my own yogurt is about 3 things: quality, economics and a sense of achievement.

The quality of yogurt

By quality, for instance, I’m referring to no added ingredients and the use of high quality, organic, whole, grass-fed milk. Yes, it is possible to purchase this caliber of yogurt, but it depends on the grocery store.

Sometimes it is hard to find plain, whole milk yogurt, much less organic or grass-fed. The variety in the milk section means you can usually find something there to make a healthy yogurt.

Economics in homemade yogurt

For example, let’s say you do have access to the type of yogurt you’d like to buy – have you noticed that it’s 2-3x as expensive as milk of equal quality? For instance, a half-gallon of organic, grass-fed milk is about $5 where I’m from – which is a lot, but you pay more than that for just a quart of organic, grass-fed yogurt. So I say, splurge on the milk, make yogurt, and come out ahead!

Look at what you’ve achieved!

You can’t undervalue the sense of achievement you get from mastering a food craft, playing with the variables to get the sourness just how you like it, and pulling a glass jar of yogurt out of your fridge to enjoy for breakfast, rather than yet another plastic container that will be discarded.

In truth I feel good about what I’m eating, and it tastes great too! I hope you will try out this easy recipe, which calls for no special equipment!

You can do it!

Homemade Yogurt

What you’ll need:

     Simple Homemade Yogurt

  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 1/4 cup plain, whole milk yogurt

How to make your homemade yogurt:

First, place milk in a large pot with a wooden spoon over the top and set the heat to medium-high. The spoon will protect the pot from overflowing in case you take your eye off it and it suddenly starts foaming.

Of course, you will need to stir it occasionally, bringing the milk up to 185 degrees F. Measure with a thermometer or judge by sight – 185 degrees is the point at which the milk is foaming but not yet boiling.

Next, remove the milk from the heat and let cool to 115 degrees F. You can either measure the temperature with a thermometer or judge for yourself.

Finding the right temperature

The upper limit for being able to put your finger in is probably 115 degrees and, although uncomfortable, keep it in without burning yourself. Subsequently, if you have to pull your finger out, it’s too hot. If it feels comfortable and there’s no hot “sting” at all, it’s probably too cool.

Please don’t put your finger in steaming milk! Admittedly, a liquid thermometer is easier, and safer, for this step! You can also speed up the process by putting the pot in a sink of cold water.

Allow the milk to cool

After the milk has cooled to 115 degrees F, remove a cup or so of the milk and whisk in the 1/4 cup yogurt until smooth. Then return the milk-yogurt mixture to the pot and stir well to incorporate.

Next, pour the milk and yogurt mixture into your desired containers. Two quart-sized canning jars will fit the 1/2 gallon of milk used in this recipe. Screw on lids loosely. Heat the oven to around 115 degrees F, and then turn the oven off. Turn on the oven light and add the jars to the oven. Be sure the oven is turned off.

Final Steps:

Let the jars incubate in the oven for at least 9 hours. Consequently the longer the incubation, the sourer the yogurt will be. If it is particularly cold in your kitchen, you may want to turn the oven on for a minute or two every couple hours, but in my experience, I can just leave it the entire time.

Finally, after the incubation period, remove the jars, tighten the lids, and place in the fridge where the yogurt will finish setting. When cooled through, enjoy! The yogurt will keep for many weeks in the refrigerator.

Have you tried making your own homemade yogurt? If you haven’t you must give it a try!

 

Simple Homemade Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Gallon whole milk
  • 1/4 cup plain, whole milk yogurt

Directions

1. Place milk in a large pot with a wooden spoon over the top and set heat at medium-high. The spoon will protect the pot from overflowing in case you take your eye off it and it suddenly starts foaming.
2. Stirring occasionally, bring the milk up to 185 degrees F. Measure with a thermometer or judge by sight - 185 degrees is about the point at which the milk is foaming but not yet boiling.
3. Remove milk from the heat and let cool to 115 degrees F. Once again, you can measure the temp with a thermometer or judge for yourself. 115 degrees is probably the upper limit for being able to put your finger in and, although uncomfortable, keep it in without burning yourself. If you have to pull your finger out, it's too hot. If it feels comfortable and there's no hot "sting" at all, it's probably too cool. Please don't put your finger in steaming milk! Admittedly, a liquid thermometer is easier, and safer, for this step! You can speed up the process by putting the pot in a sink of cold water.

4. When the milk has cooled to 115 degrees F, remove a cup or so of the milk and whisk in the 1/4 cup yogurt until smooth. Then return the milk-yogurt mixture to the pot and stir well to incorporate.
5. Pour the milk and yogurt mixture into your desired containers. Two quart-sized canning jars will fit the 1/2 gallon of milk used in this recipe. Screw on lids loosely.
6. Heat the oven to around 115 degrees F, and then turn the oven off. Turn on the oven light and add the jars to the oven. Be sure the oven is turned off.
7. Let the jars incubate in the oven for at least 9 hours. The longer the incubation, the more sour the yogurt will be. If it is particularly cold in your kitchen, you may want to turn the oven on for a minute or two every couple hours, but in my experience I can just leave it the entire time.
8. After the incubation period, remove the jars, tighten the lids, and place in the fridge where the yogurt will finish setting. When cooled through, enjoy! The yogurt will keep for many weeks in the refrigerator.
Homemade Yogurt

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DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, attachments, and other material are for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

 
Melissa
Melissa lives in Minnesota with her husband James and three small children. She enjoys staying home with her kids, who join in on favorite activities like gardening, hiking, and cooking and concocting from scratch. Although Melissa worked in public relations before having a family, her love of growing started as a child in the garden by her father's side. Now, her "dream job" would be related to agriculture - whether preserving heirloom seeds from around the world, starting a CSA (community supported agriculture), or advocating for affordable access to real food for all people. For now, she is happy to dabble in it all and share what she learns at Whole Food Homestead.
Melissa

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About The Author

Melissa

Melissa lives in Minnesota with her husband James and three small children. She enjoys staying home with her kids, who join in on favorite activities like gardening, hiking, and cooking and concocting from scratch. Although Melissa worked in public relations before having a family, her love of growing started as a child in the garden by her father’s side. Now, her “dream job” would be related to agriculture – whether preserving heirloom seeds from around the world, starting a CSA (community supported agriculture), or advocating for affordable access to real food for all people. For now, she is happy to dabble in it all and share what she learns at Whole Food Homestead.

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