Friday, November 14, 2008

Homemade Yogurt


Homemade yogurt is delicious, healthy, easy, environmentally friendly (no plastic containers to throw away), versatile, and did I mention delicious??? I make yogurt every few weeks and I keep the recipe inside a cabinet right next to the stove along with other handy tips and conversion charts.
You will need:
1 quart milk
1/4 cup dry milk (optional but helps the yogurt become thick, especially if using skim milk)
an instant-read thermometer
small container of Dannon Plain lowfat yogurt (which is your starter)
a yogurt maker
and some time
First, measure out the milk and place it in a pot over med-low heat. Add the dry milk (this helps the yogurt become thicker) and heat the mixture to 185-190 degrees F. I set the oven timer to go off every 5 minutes so I can stir the mixture (so it doesn't burn on the bottom) and to check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. This takes a little time. I have found that if I don't set a timer, I'll get distracted by something (I'm a mom after all!) and the milk will boil over.

After the mixture has reached 185 degrees, I pour it into a pyrex bowl and wait for it to cool down to between 110 and 115 degrees. Again, it helps to set a timer for 10-15 minutes and check the temp each time. Skim off and discard any film that forms on top of the milk as it's cooling. Place 2 T of Dannon yogurt (for some reason this brand makes the tastiest yogurt) into a small bowl and stir it to remove any lumps. When the milk reaches 115 degrees, gradually add about 1/2 cup warm milk to the yogurt and stir until smooth. Add the yogurt mixture back into the rest of the milk and stir to combine. Pour the milk into your yogurt maker and come back in 6 hours. Refrigerate the yogurt before eating.
I have two yogurt makers, both of which I love. I double the recipe and use both yogurt makers at once. The Donvier maker has individual reusable cups, great for adding some homemade jam for a grab-and-go breakfast. It also has a timer which is a very nice feature. The Salton yogurt maker has one large container which makes it great for the yogurt you may need in recipes.
I use milk from a local small farm called Brunton's. You can get it at Soergel's or McGinnis Sisters. The glass bottles are returnable for even less waste in your recycling bin (and let's face it, do we really know if all that plastic is really recycled anyway?) The milk is so good, my kids have even commented on how great it tastes! I use 2% milk for yogurt because it sets up better if you use milk with some fat content in it.
To make yogurt-cheese, set the yogurt in a strainer lined with a coffee filter and set the strainer over a bowl. Cover it with plastic and place it in the refrigerator overnight. Use it in place of cream cheese or sour cream in recipes


Bottom line: homemade yogurt takes some time, but the result is definitely worth it!


2 comments:

  1. Wow!!!!...I didn't even know there was such a thing as yogurt maker!!!...I'd love to try it!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have never done this, but I do know an old sheep herder who lived down the road from me when I was young - who used to make yogurt in a rubber boot!

    ReplyDelete

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