It is not difficult to make good-tasting yogurt with very few ingredients and supplies. I do this to offset the expense of the wholesome, non-homogenized milk I buy from a local dairy. It makes superior yogurt and is cheaper than the brand I usually buy at the grocery store.
Crockpot (doesn’t have to work)
Stainless pan or double boiler
1 qt. milk
2 Tbs plain yogurt
Containers for yogurt (canning jars, custard cups with lids etc)
Some directions recommend sterilizing the equipment. I never do but just practice normal cleanliness. I use a digital thermometer with a probe; it is my favorite kitchen item.
Set up your yogurt incubator by putting the heating pad in the crockpot and turning it on. Be sure the yogurt containers you have chosen will fit inside with the lid on. Put the lid on and cover with a towel to keep the heat in.
Warm the milk to 185 degrees and hold at that temp for 10 minutes. For thicker yogurt, hold for 30 minutes. Milk must be monitored closely and stirred often so that it doesn’t burn. Milk doesn’t burn as easily if it is being warmed in the top of a double boiler.
The milk must now be cooled to 110 degrees. Put some ice water in the bottom of the kitchen sink and set the pan in it. Keep a close eye on the thermometer while stirring the milk.
When it reaches 110 degrees, add 2 Tbs of plain yogurt and stir.
Pour yogurt into containers and nestle them in the crockpot. Replace the lid and towel.
Mild yogurt only needs to incubate for four hours. The longer the yogurt remains in the crockpot after the four hour incubation period, the tangier it will become. Ideally the temperature in the crock should be between 108 – 112. This is where having a thermometer with a probe comes in handy. The temperature can be monitored from outside and the heating pad control adjusted up or down.
Holding the milk at about 185 for 30 minutes did improve the consistency. This is quite a bit thicker than the yogurt I’ve been making.
It is very tasty plain, or with some honey for sweetening. Yogurt is an important ingredient in the quick and easy breakfast I eat almost every morning.
Don’t forget to reserve enough yogurt from this batch to start another.
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