September 05, 2012

Homemade Yogurt

A friend here online posted a recipe for making yogurt when we were discussing the price difference between buying it and making it.  She posted a recipe with two different ways to make it ...stove top or crock-pot.

Now I have a huge crock-pot so I wasn't sure that would work for me. And warming the milk in there would take too long. I wanted results. So I decided against that version. Her other version had it cooked on top of the stove but put in a dehydrator. Mine is not set up for that sort of thing. So I looked online and many different ways people do this. I finally settled on stove top cooking and putting it in a cooler with hot water to sit over nite.

Some say add non fat powdered milk, some say you don't need to. I love Greek yogurt tho and the ones who added the powdered milk say it comes out thicker. Since I had some around here that I rarely use, I decided to do that. So here is my recipe.

 *UPDATE: Ive since found that different yogurts you buy have different cultures so play around with the yogurts you like best to get the same homemade consistency you like. I used ZOI at first because I had that here in the house. It was good but when I added anything to it for flavor, it often broke down some. I love FAGE and bought some this last time to try it. The yogurt I made is awesome! Its thick just like FAGE is and tastes great too. And I added some homemade jam like I usually do and this didnt break down at all. So remember to use a yogurt you really love if you want to get great results on your homemade.

 Homemade Yogurt

2 qts. whole organic milk
1 pkg. non fat dried milk powder (3.2oz)
4 tb. of yogurt with culture in it

Measure 2qts of milk into a pot. Turn heat on high. Whisk in powdered milk. Let heat in pot till temperature on a thermometer ( I used and instant one) reads 180 degrees. Ive read that this is the best temp. for this. Cooler may not thicken enough and hotter will kill the bacteria needed to culture the yogurt.

While the milk heats to temp. fill your sink with cold water. You want it to come up to the level the milk is when you put the pot in the sink. You may not have the right level when you put it in so add more, being sure not to get water in the pot. Cool this milk to 110-115 degrees.

While its cooling measure out the store bought yogurt into a small bowl. When the milk reaches the right temp...take about a cup of it out and mix it with the yogurt culture in the bowl to thin it down. Pour into the cooled milk and stir gently with a whisk.

I decided to do mine in jars. Some say put the whole pot in the refrigerator. Mine isn't that big plus I didn't want to disturb it once its done. So I chose to do mine in canning jars. This recipe filled two qt. jars and one pt. jar.

I chose to use a small cooler to keep the temperature even. I live on the coast and its hot during the day and cooler at nite. I put the filled jars into the cooler.

 Then I filled two more qts with very hot water and put them in too. Then I filled the cooler with more very hot water up to the line where the smallest jar was filled. I didn't want to get water in that one since it was lower.

 I put it on a counter where it wouldn't be disturbed. First a heating pad was turned on to Medium. Then the cooler was put on top, and finally I covered it all with a big towel. 
 I did this around 4pm. Because my heating pad has an auto shut off, I checked it a few times till I went to bed to make sure it was on. This is the other reason I did the hot water in the cooler and jars too. I felt the water would hold in any heat over nite, since I knew the heating pad would shut off.

 This morning when I checked it, I had nice thick yogurt in the jars. While I may not need the powdered milk in it, I do like the thickness of the yogurt because of it.  Today I'm having some with my own Blueberry/Cherry Jam (which I make low sugar) and I have to say its yummy. I don't think Ill be buying any more yogurt from the stores unless it is to restart a culture.

A gallon of milk cost me $4.99 for organic whole milk so half would be $2.50
I bought a box of powdered milk and I figure one pkg from it probably cost me $1.
A few tbs of store bought yogurt to start this didn't cost much because I already had one here I was eating. So figure at the most...maybe another dollar?
So for about $4.50  I made 2 qts and 1pt. and I still have milk left to make more if I want.    

UPDATE: After being refrigerated, the yogurt was as thick as Greek Yogurt with very little whey separating out. I do believe it is because of the extra powdered milk. Making Greek yogurt, you usually just make yogurt and then strain it well to get it thick. And lots of whey drips out. You could do it either way but I am liking the addition of the milk powder since I'm not really losing much liquid as whey.            


Alida said...

wow. I enjoyed reading your post. I have tried making yogurt myself with a yogurt maker before, but I took it back to the shop as the yogurt was turning out too runny.
Thank you for these tips. I must try your way now!

Anonymous said...

Love what you are doing with the blog man!