Home Made Yogurt Is the Way to Go
I love yogurt but now I love it even more because I never knew how easy it was to make. I also never knew it could taste even better by culturing my own. It only takes a quart of milk, a spoonful of Greek yogurt (a starter sample) and about half a day. You will also need four tools: a sterilized quart jar, a deep sauce pan, an instant-read thermometer, and a whisk.
The first step is to sterilize the equipment. If you have a microwave it can easily be done right in the quart jar. Just boil half a quart of water in it for a minute or so and put your thermometer and whisk right it it until you are ready to use them. This step should kill off any bacteria that would prevent the live good bacteria in the yogurt to grow in the milk.
Pour a quart of whole milk into the saucepan and heat gently to 180°. Stir frequently to prevent scalding on the bottom. Why 180°? This temperature pasteurizes the milk It will kill off any bacteria in the milk but is just under the boiling point. Boiling will cause scalding and little chunks of scalded milk will not be good in your yogurt.
So now, cool down the milk. You can wait for it to happen with a lid on the pot and take about 30 minutes or if you hate waiting like me you could put it in cold water in the sink and take about 5 minutes to let it cool to 115°. This is the perfect temperature the good bacteria in the yogurt sample needs to thrive and grow…it should feel like bathwater, not too hot.
This is the time to introduce the spoonful of Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt contains live cultures which are important if you want to grow new ones. Read the label under the ingredients to make sure it says LIVE or ACTIVE cultures. Just whisk in the sample until it is dissolved then pour everything into the now empty sterilized quart jar. place a lid on top and keep the jar in a warm place for about 12 hours. A good way to do it is to turn on the oven and let it heat for 5 minutes any temperature setting. This will be just enough to get it warm and keep your culture warm for several hours. About half way through, fire up the oven again as before and let it go the rest of the way.
The last step is to refrigerate for at least four hours or over night. Since I started this project at 10 a.m. I chose the over night rout, but when I woke, I had a delicious breakfast waiting for me. This yogurt turned out thick and creamy and oh so tasty! Wow! I will never buy yogurt again. For one, Greek yogurt is expensive. For the price of just one 24 oz. tub you can have a whole gallon of it. And second, the taste can’t be beat. Lastly, it was a fun project and the family and I learned something new and sciency…just don’t forget to save a sample for your next batch.