Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to make your own yogurt... it is so easy!!!

This is not only easy but can also save you some money and the kids LOVE it!!! This yogurt is smooth, creamy and light. The flavor is so much fresher and nicer than store bought ones and you can make it for a little as a quarter of the price.  This recipe is for plain yogurt (no sugar added):

  • Half a gallon of milk (you can use whole, 2% or skimmed - the more fat content the creamier the yogurt - so it is your choice)
  • 8 oz yogurt starter ( For your first batch you need a small plain yogurt, after that you can use 8 oz of your own home made one)

  • Heavy bottom pan - big enough to hold half a gallon of milk
  • Food thermometer (you can do it without but it is more risky)
  • 5 pint mason jars (or any other glass containers - mayo jars work great)
  • An ice cooler - yeap! the same one you use for picnics and drinks during the summer

Sterilize your mason jars and lids (put them in a big pan and cover with cold water, put on stove on high and wait until it  reaches a rolling boil - boil for 10 minutes. Turn off and leave in hot water, covered until needed)

Put milk in heavy bottom pan and heat at medium flame until the milk reaches 85 C (if you do not have a thermometer - heat until it is just about to star boiling. This step kills any bad stuff that milk may have. Do not let it boil and stir constantly to avoid the milk burning at the bottom.

Once the milk is at 85C, turn heat off and let it cool down to 45C to 50C. If you do not have thermometer - this feels warm to the touch - it should not burn you. This will take a while 20 to 30 mins. If you want to do it quicker, put the whole pan om a bath of ice water (you can do this in the sink)

    Take a cup of warm milk and mix it with the 8 oz yogurt starter in a separate container, mix until smooth and no lumps. The pour it over the rest of the milk and mix well.

      Work quickly so the milk does not cool too much. Take your sterilized jar from the hot water and fill them up with the milk and close. You should have enough for 4 full pint jars and a small 8 oz jar that you will keep and use for your starter later.

      Put all the filled and closed jar in your cooler and covered with warm water (50C of temperature). Close the cooler and leave untouched for 3 hours or overnight - I normally do it overnight.

      The next morning open the cooler (the water will still be warm) and remove your yogurt jars and put them in the fridge - they will keep for 2 months. If you do the 3 hours, please check one jar to make sure the yogurt has hardened, if not, return to the cooler and leave for another hour - try it again.

      Do not eat your small 8 oz jar - (or half pint jar) it will be your starter for the next time!!!

      Enjoy!!! and please let me know how it worked for you.
      My girl's parfait
      My boy's parfait

      You can use the yogurt for eating with honey, sugar, fruit, parfaits, etc. It is great in smoothies!!

      1 comment:

      Anonymous said...

      1) Your statement: "Once the milk is at 85C, turn heat off and let it cool down to 45C to 50C...".

      The thermometer for the villagers in Greece since the anciant times was the finger! You stick your finger into the warm milk and should not be able to keept there formore than 6-8 seconds.

      2) Your statement: "... Take your sterilized jar from the hot water and fill them up with the milk and close".
      The actual recipe in Greece (non-commercial) is to put a small towel over the container (jar in this case) to allow oxygen in so the active bacteria remain alive do their job. Since they had no coolers in the old days they cover the jars with blankets to keep warm and today houswifes put in the oven to "away from drafts". I do the same but in the summer time in Houston I just leave it in the garage! I will try your method in the winter time since you have a proven method.

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