Hello! I’ve been on vacation but have been busy cooking while off enjoying sun and fun in Northern Michigan. I bought a yogurt maker a few months ago and finally got around to giving it a try. Now I’m hooked. I never knew yogurt making was so easy. After doing a bit of reading, apparently a yogurt machine isn’t even required. Turn your oven to warm for 2 or 3 minutes, turn it off, turn the oven light on and place jars of the milk/yogurt in the oven for 10 to 12 hours depending on the fat content of the milk and yogurt is yours in no time. A yogurt maker or warm oven provides the perfect environment for the probiotics to turn milk into yogurt using a yogurt starter. A yogurt starter is just a half cup of regular plain yogurt with active yogurt culture. Once you have made your own yogurt, simply reserve a half cup of homemade yogurt to start your next batch. But, don’t save previous yogurt for too long, the probiotics weaken as they age (who doesn’t) and the consistency of the yogurt may be a bit watery. You can decide whether you want to use skim, low-fat or whole milk. The cooking times vary depending on the amount of fat in the milk.
This recipe is for plain unsweetened and unflavored yogurt. Once the yogurt is prepared, add honey, fruit, jam, sugar, etc. to add the flavor you enjoy.
5 cups milk (skim, low-fat or whole milk)
½ cup plain yogurt
Measure a half cup of plain yogurt for the starter and take it out of the refrigerator so it’s close to room temperature. Measure 5 cups of milk and pour into a saucepan. Bring the milk just to a boil, stir frequently to prevent scalding of the milk. Once the milk boils, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool to a temperature of 90 to 110 degrees F. You can use a thermometer or I just stick my finger into a bit of the milk and if it’s warm but not too warm it’s good to go (my point of reference is my favorite temperature of the hot tub, 101 degrees, so if it feels like it would be good to soak in, you’re good to go! The milk needs to cool to that level to prevent the heat from killing the probiotics of the active yogurt starter. Once the milk is at the correct temperature; stir in the yogurt with a whisk until well blended. Next pour the yogurt milk mixture into jars, the machine I purchased has 7 cute little glass jars that each hold about 6 ounces. Leave the jars uncapped. Place the lid on the yogurt maker. Start your yogurt machine or turn on your oven light for the following amounts of time:
Whole milk = 8 hours
2 % or 1% = 10 hours
½ % = 11 hours
Skim milk = 12 hours
Now just sit back and wait for your yogurt to appear. Set the time before leaving for work or before going to bed. When the yogurt maker times out or you turn off the oven light stir the yogurt before adding flavoring. Refrigerate the yogurt until you are ready to add flavoring and enjoy. My favorite was fresh blueberries, strawberries and a bit of honey.
To make Greek yogurt, just remove a bit of the liquid from the yogurt, to do this, line a colander with coffee filters and allow the yogurt to drain for a couple hours. The only real difference between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt is that the Greek is thicker because the extra liquid is drained out.
I know these directions seem lengthy but the task is much simpler than the written instructions, give this a try and see if you become a yogurt convert too. Get ready for plenty of recipes using yogurt!!
I’ve added a link to a great source for more information on making your own yogurt at home, how to make yogurt. Take a look!