If you’re a fan of yogurt and add it to the grocery list each week, you should consider making your own yogurt. In addition to being cheaper than store-bought yogurt, homemade yogurt is often healthier – it cuts out sugar and artificial ingredients – and tastes better. You likely have everything you need to make a batch of yogurt in your kitchen already, so let’s get started! You may not get the consistency you are looking for the first few times you try it, but don’t despair. Practice makes perfect! In time you will figure out what works and tastes best for you and you might even start to get creative with your own recipes. Here are a few basic recipes to get you started. Enjoy!
Basic Yogurt – Yield: 1 half gallon
Ingredients: Half a gallon of milk, 2-3 tbsp of plain yogurt
Create a double boiler using two stock pots and bring the milk to 185°F, stirring constantly to avoid a top layer forming.
Cool the milk to 110°F using a cold water bath, stirring again to avoid a top layer forming.
Pour the plain yogurt into the milk and stir well.
Cover and place on a heating pad and leave undisturbed for 7 hours*.
Remove from the heating pad and stir well.
Refrigerate overnight to completely chill.
*If you prefer a more tart yogurt, incubate the yogurt longer. I suggest you follow this recipe the first time you make yogurt and adjust the incubation time when you know what you like.
Ingredients: 1 gallon milk (any kind), ¼ c plain yogurt, honey (optional), fresh fruit (optional)
Reserve ¼ c of milk and pour the rest into a large pot. Boil.
Once milk begins to boil, shut off heat and let sit.
While milk is cooling, mix together yogurt and reserved ¼ c of milk.
When milk reaches 100°F, mix in yogurt and reserved milk mixture.
Mix gently and thoroughly, then cover and wrap in a towel.
Leave pot in the oven (not turned on) overnight or 16 hours.*
Using a cheese cloth, drain yogurt inside a colander.
Every few hours, squeeze the cheese cloth or use a spoon to stir and help it drain faster. Yogurt is complete in 6 hours.
Add honey and/or fresh fruit, if desired.
*If you stop at this step, you will have regular homemade yogurt. Continue with step 7 to make Greek yogurt.
Ingredients: 1 c water, 1 lb frozen strawberries, 1 c sugar
Dissolve the sugar into the water in a heavy saucepan on medium heat
Add the strawberries and keep a low boil for ten minutes
Strain the strawberries and save the syrup
Add ¼ c syrup (more or less depending on how much flavor you want in your yogurt) into a pint of warm yogurt and mix well
Strain out the whey
If you are adding the strawberry flavor to homemade yogurt, it is best to add the strawberry syrup to the yogurt while the yogurt is still warm and before it sets so it can maintain a thicker consistency.