Homemade Yogurt!Yes, that's right, homemade yogurt. This is something I've been wanting to try for a while now. I mean, I've been making my own detergent and started making my own granola, why not yogurt too? So this started me browsing through all of internet land looking for a recipe I liked.
I guess I really shouldn't say recipe, as this implies differing ingredients. The recipe for yogurt is pretty universal: milk and starter. Starter being yogurt with active cultures in it. If it has it, it will say somewhere on the container. If you do not have this you will not make yogurt, you'll only make milk that has been heated, left to sit, and cooled. Not very tasty. Now there can be additions like dry milk powder or even gelatin for extra thickening if you're using, say, skim milk.
The biggest difference really is how many ways people make it. They find what works for them. Some make it using a crockpot, their oven, a heating pad, a cooler with hot water and many more. I picked the cooler with hot water. The time it needed to sit wasn't as long as other methods and I was anxious to see the end result. Check out this recipe and then search for some more to find what fits you. Here is a link to the recipe I used on the site "the frugal girl" :
The basic gist is heat the milk to about 180°(to kill any other bacteria, etc.) then cool it down to around 120°. At this point you whisk your starter into the cooling milk. Pour it into your clean jars(any size, try to keep them the same size) and put on the lids. Place them into a small cooler, fill with 120° water up to the yogurt line in the jars, close it up(I covered mine with a towel as well) and let it sit undisturbed for 3 hours. Then refrigerate. Done.
Some recipes are just as easy but they leave theirs sit for anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. The longer it sits, the more tart it becomes so for your tastes 4 or 6 hours might be better. Mine sat for the recipe stated 3 hours, though I added a touch of vanilla and a little sugar, this wasn't tart at all. Play with it and see what you like. For thickness, whole milk is best, I used 2% and it came out fine. You can use any kind but the less fat the thinner the yogurt, which is why people using skim and such will usually add some dry milk powder to thicken.
I ate some with homemade granola(also easy-peasy) my youngest put some apple butter in his, and the hubby ate it with maraschino cherries(he thinks it might have been even better with pie filling cherries). I'll ask hubby when he gets home, I put some strawberry jam on it this morning for his lunch. If you want fruit in yours it is probably best to add it at the table, rather than as it's being made or it could make your yogurt turn out runny. You could also use food flavoring oils like orange or lime. I'll try it out in the freezer and let you know how it does there, too. For those, like me, who freeze the kiddies yogurt for school.
All in all, I'm completely glad I did this and I'll definitely be doing it again. Probably tomorrow, seeing as half of it is gone already. Sigh.