Thursday, March 18, 2010

Homemade Yogurt

I had a gallon of milk that wasn't going to get used before it expired so I decided to make yogurt. The process was simple and only took about 30 min.

1. Heat milk to 180 degrees to make sure nothing interferes with the delicious replicating bacteria. This could be done in a double boiler, but I didn't have anything that was going to work so I just used a big pot. I attached a thermometer to the side and stirred frequently. I didn't scorch the milk.

2. Cool the milk to 110 degrees. I filled the sink with cold water and set the pot in the sink. If we had room in our freezer for an ice cube tray, I would have added ice. I continued stirring to release the heat.

3. Add the started. I dumped in an 8 oz container of plain organic yogurt. I only needed 3 tablespoons, but I didn't want to keep an opened container of yogurt in the fridge. I guess I could have eaten it, but that thought didn't occur to me until just now.

4. Let the milk sit in a warm place. Some people use crock pots, heating pads or hot plates. My crock pot is too small and I don't have a heating pad or hot plate. I put my pot in the oven and turned the oven on very briefly every two hours.

I let it sit for nine hours and it produced a semi-tangy, not-to-thin and not-to-thick kind of yogurt. I really like the taste, but prefer thicker Greek style yogurt so I used a tea towel and a colander and strained the yogurt. If I would have more time, I would have strained it a bit longer, but I got out quite a bit of whey to be used for later projects. I mixed in some pureed strawberries and a little sugar to some of the yogurt. I also mixed in pureed apples and cinnamon to another batch. I made strawberry smoothies with some of the yogurt (honey, strawberries, yogurt and milk) and they were delicious. Making my own yogurt is definitely cost effective and I will most definitely do it again.

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