I imagine that many of you might think about making yogurt at home and be a bit intimidated by it. I know I would. I first made it back in the 1970’s with hilarious results. But with the modern yogurt makers, making yogurt is really easy, and what could be more wonderful than yogurt you have made yourself?
The yogurt maker I use is a West Bend, which I am not sure they make anymore since mine is about twenty years old. But it still works great if you can find one of those. I have seen very similar yogurt makers on the market now. Some have more deluxe features, but really, all you need is one that keeps the yogurt at a steady temperature.
- 1 quart organic whole milk
- 1/2 cup fresh (not past date) plain unflavored whole milk Greek yogurt (with active cultures; check the label)
- 1/2 cup nonfat dry powdered milk
- electric yogurt incubator
- digital thermometer
- Clean and/or sanitize your yogurt maker and equipment.
- Plug in your yogurt maker and let it warm up.
- Whisk together the milk with the powdered milk, then heat over low heat to above 110° F.
- Remove milk from heat and allow milk to cool to between 100°F. and 110°F. (use a digital thermometer and don’t try guessing the milk temperature on your arm or anything like that.)
- When milk reaches ideal temperature, gently stir in the yogurt until blended fully.
- Pour yogurt mix into container, cap it with the lid and put inside the yogurt maker.
- Let yogurt maker operate undisturbed, in a draft-free area, for 6-12 hours. The longer it sits, the more tang it will have, with 6 hours producing a fairly mild yogurt.
- After the processing time, the yogurt will not be fully set, but it shouldn’t be as thin as it was. At this point refrigerate it right in the container for at least 2 hours or overnight to fully set. If you would like this thicker, you can strain it through cheesecloth suspended over a bowl.
Yogurt maker warming up
Cooling down the milk to a good temperature (100°F.-110°F.)
- If you whisk the yogurt into the milk, you will wreck the yogurt, so use a spoon and stir gently.
- Take your time and be patient; it may seem like it will never fully incorporate, but trust me, it will get there. If you stop short, later on you will find your yogurt didn’t fully “take” except at the bottom of the container (where the yogurt particles settled).
- Don’t add any flavorings or sweeteners before the yogurt becomes yogurt. Plenty of time for that later.
Prepared yogurt mix ready to go into the yogurt maker to incubate
Yogurt after refrigerating overnight. Now ready to use.
You may notice a yellowish color on top, but that’s not unusual when using not-homogenized milk as some of the butterfat may rise to the surface. Unhomogenized milk is perfectly safe to use, provided it is Pasteurized.
Stirring yogurt up.
Thick but not quite custard-like consistency is just right.