Yogurt

Yogurt that you make yourself is oh so easy and oh so satisfying.

 

Afternoons-and-Coffeespoons spoonful of yogurt

It is so easy to make yogurt, and you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen.  

It just takes a small amount of prepared yogurt to use as a starter, some milk, heat and time to let it develop.

(scroll down to the recipe for a tip that makes for easier clean up)

Afternoons-and-Coffeespoons whisk on top of a pan of milk on stove

I have done this for years, inspired by “The Homemade Pantry” by Alana Chernila.  Just a few tweaks to her method and I came up with a system that works for me.  I tried other techniques before I discovered this one.  Letting it sit in an oven overnight with the light on.  Using a slow cooker and wrapping it up in a towel to keep it warm.  I was never satisfied with the results.  Until now.

Afternoons-and-Coffeespoons two jars with yogurt in sink.

For the best results, use whole or two percent milk  Anything with a lower percent of fat resulted in a chalky tasting yogurt.

Depending on how thick you like your yogurt, you may want to strain it for a product more like a Greek yogurt.  

Afternoons-and-Coffeespoons two glass jars of yogurt in a cooler of hot water

Why the two jars?  One to eat from and one to use as a starter for your next batch.  Also, I could not fit all the yogurt into one jar that would fit into my cooler  :-)  .  Make sure you have something for the shorter jar to sit on or it will end up bobbing around in the water.

It is definitely a day long project, starting in the morning, and letting the jars sit in a cooler of hot water all the day long. Then into the refrigerator to chill, and the next morning you have thick and creamy yogurt to doctor up as you wish for your breakfast.  

My favorite way to eat it is with Chocolate Crunch and fresh fruit.  It definitely makes a satisfying meal!

If you are a yogurt lover and a believer that homemade can be better than store-bought, don’t be intimated. Give it a go and you might just surprise yourself.  

Yogurt
A thick and creamy yogurt that is so very simple to make.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups whole or 2 percent milk
  2. 1/4 to 1/2 cup plain yogurt for starter
Instructions
  1. Before turning the heat on, toss an ice cube in a medium saucepan and let it melt, turning the pan to coat the bottom.
  2. Fill a small cooler with hot water to warm it up.
  3. Fasten a thermometer to the side of the pan.
  4. When the ice is melted add the milk to the saucepan.
  5. Heat milk over low to medium heat until the thermometer reads 180 º F, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally with a coated wire whisk.
  6. Once the temperature is reached, remove the pan from the heat and place in an ice bath or a sink full of cold water until the thermometer lowers to 110 º F.
  7. When the temperature is reached add the yogurt starter and whisk until it is smooth and slightly foamy.
  8. Empty the milk mixture into two jars.
  9. Dump the water out of the cooler and refill with hot water
  10. Seal the jars tightly and place in the cooler filled with hot water.
  11. Check the thickness of the yogurt after 4 hours. If not thick, let sit for 2-4 more hours, checking occasionally.
  12. Transfer to refrigerator to chill.
Notes
  1. Icing the pan helps prevent scorching. As long as the bottom of the pan is not touched with a metal utensil, it will not scorch.
  2. I use a small cooler for the hot water bath, a Coleman Personal 8. I fill it up with hot water and let it warm up while the milk is heating.
  3. Fill the jars in the kitchen sink. It can get quite messy.
  4. Make sure the jars you choose to hold your yogurt fit into your cooler.
  5. Adjust the water level in the cooler so that it does not cover the jars. You don't want them underwater. If should just reach the level of the yogurt. You may need something for the jars to sit on so they don't float around.
  6. Start checking the yogurt after 4 hours of sitting in the hot water. Refrigerate if it has reached desired thickness or replace in cooler. I find it takes about 6-8 hours to thicken to my likeness, and it will thicken also in the refrigerator.
  7. Makes about 5 cups yogurt
Adapted from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila
Adapted from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila
Afternoons and Coffeespoons http://afternoonsandcoffeespoons.com/
Now it’s your turn.  How do you like to top your yogurt?

As always, thanks for stopping by, and please visit often. 

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Kitchen Challenge Spring 2015: Homemade Yogurt

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