Homemade Yogurt

Martha Stuart I am not.  Still, I do like to try my hand at making homemade versions of various every day grocery items just because I can.  Quite a few of them, like angel food cake and lady fingers, were fun to make but not worth my time to do again.  I have fallen in love with greek yogurt ever since it because easy to buy in the store.  My only gripe is the high price compared to standard yogurt although after making it, I now understand why.
With a toddler in the house, we go through lots of yogurt.  Rose loves it with berries, with granola, or with peaches.  She even gobbles it up plain.  This means that if I can make it cheaper, it might be worth a little effort.  Luckily, it’s not that much effort at all to make homemade greek yogurt at and is about half the cost.  Most of the work is simply waiting for the tiny bacteria to do it’s magic.
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Put four canning jars in to a large pot and fill the pot with water about 3/4 of the up the sides of the jars.  Pour whatever type of milk you desire (fat free, 1%, 2% or whole all work great) into the jars, leaving 1 inch space at the top.  Heat the water to boiling and boil softly until the milk is 180 degrees.  The picture shows the thermometer in the water but usually I keep in hooked on the jar in the milk the whole time.

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Take the jars out of the water and put lids on loosely.  Cool until the milk is 110 degrees.  I find this goes more quickly if you place the jars in the sink with cold water and ice/ice packs.  It takes about 20 minutes with that method.  Once the milk is cool enough, add 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt into each jar and stir gently.  A personal size yogurt container is enough for all four jars.  If you use vanilla, the yogurt will have a nice light vanilla flavor as well.
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I have changed how I do the final step since I first started making yogurt. I used to put the jars in a cooler with hot water and let it sit, refreshing the hot water every few hours.  Then I came across an ingenious method.  Heat your oven up for 5 minutes then turn it off (it doesn’t matter the temp).  Put the sealed jars in the oven and close the door.  Turn on the oven light and it will keep the oven at a nice warm temp for as long as you would like.  This way, I can start it at night and there will be fresh yogurt in the morning.  I like it the best after about 12 hours but it can stay there up to 2.
The next step I do isn’t required as you can definitely just open the jars right away and eat but I find that putting the yogurt in the fridge for a few hours helps to firm it up a bit more.
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You can eat the yogurt straight from the jar but I have found it to be a little watery.  I prefer to drain the whey out a bit to get it to be more like the greek style.  This is easily done by putting a few layers of cheese cloth or a thin bread towel in a strainer and pour in a jar of yogurt.  Let it drain over a bowl for 2-4 hours (depending on the desired thickness).
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Scrape the thickened yogurt into a bowl and whisk until smooth.  The longer you let it drain, the thicker it is.  I forgot once and it drained for over a day.  You could stick a fork in it and it would stand up.  haha!

3 Comments

Filed under Appetizer, Breakfast, Recipes, Side Dish

3 Responses to Homemade Yogurt

  1. Rebecca

    Hey wait….what? You can make yogurt just by using a jar of milk and 2 spoons of already made yogurt? You mentioned whey and I didn't see where you put any in so I'm guessing that came from the already made yogurt you added to the jars? I will have to try this. Time consuming but oh the possibilities. And the difference between greek yogurt and regular is the thickness? A.Mazing.

  2. The whey is the liquid that drains out of the yogurt if you do the last step. You can toss it or use it. 🙂

  3. Christine

    I look forward to trying it! I am a huge yogurt fan. There is nothing like the sweet taste of fresh homemade yogurt!

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