Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Central Coast, California
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Here are my instructions to make homemade yogurt. Don't know about yogurt maker but I would imagine after you make it up, just pour it in the maker and incubate.
Homemade yogurt contains more vigorous cultures than store-bought. It can be made without special equipment, using cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or soy milk. Homemade yogurt may be slightly thinner than store-bought yogurt. You can add dried milk powder if you want firmer yogurt (see variation). Although I have specified temperatures in the instructions, a thermometer is not necessary when making yogurt. Methods for determining if ingredients are at the correct temperature are explained as well.
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt with live cultures or 1 packet freeze-dried culture
Pour milk into a heavy-bottomed pan. Warm over medium heat until milk just starts to boil (about 180ºF). Remove from heat. Cool milk to approximately 105ºF to 120ºF. At that temperature, you should comfortably be able to immerse your finger in it. To help the milk cool, you can fill your sink with cold water to below the level of the top of the pan. Place pan in sink and stir milk with a whisk. When milk is at correct temperature, whisk in yogurt or culture. Pour into very clean quart-size jar and cover tightly.
Yogurt must incubate in a warm place, undisturbed, for five to ten hours. Possible places include an oven with a pilot light, on a heating pad, wrapped in an electric blanket, or in a thermos. I have found a cooler to be very reliable. Partially fill a cooler with water that is warm but in which you can comfortably immerse your hand (about 120ºF). Place jar in cooler. Water should come to just below the top of the jar. Close cooler.
No matter which incubation method you choose, let the yogurt sit undisturbed for about 5 hours. Then check the yogurt periodically. Make sure the temperature is not too hot (which will kill the cultures) or too cold (yogurt won’t set). Check the firmness of the yogurt. When it feels firm to the touch, it is done. Refrigerate yogurt for at least 12 hours before you try it. Don’t despair if your first batch does not set completely. Drinking liquid yogurt (kefir) is just as beneficial as firm yogurt. Be sure to save enough yogurt to start your next batch. Homemade yogurt lasts at least a week in the refrigerator.
Makes 1 quart
Note: If you prefer sweetened yogurt, add fruit, jam, stevia extract, agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup to prepared yogurt.
Variation: For firmer yogurt, add 2 tablespoons dried nonfat milk powder with yogurt.
Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.