Monday, November 4, 2013

Homemade Yogurt!

I was recently inspired to try my hand at yogurt making. I've developed a taste for yummy, creamy whole milk greek yogurt. Yup, that's right whole milk - none of this fat free stuff for me. But the whole milk variety is hard to find around here and on the rare occasions that I do find it, the cost  it's $4-$5 a quart.

There are hundreds of websites that explain yogurt making, so I'll just give a brief overview of how I made my thick, creamy whole milk version.

My ingredients -

 1 qt whole milk
 2-3T whole milk greek yogurt

Utensils etc

- 4 qt pan
- quick read thermometer
- 6 cup covered casserole dish
- wire whisk
- insulated cooler
- 2, 2 qt mason jars with lids
- fine mesh colander

I heated the milk to 180* and held it there for about 12 min. When it got to 185*, I turned the burner off and covered the pan. I checked it every couple minute and when it fell to 180* I turned the burn back on low for 30-40 seconds.

After 12 or so min I took the pan off the stove, poured the milk into the casserole dish let the milk cool to 110 degrees.

While the milk was cooling, I assembled my incubation station - an insulated cooler and two, two qt jars filled with hot water.  My target temp for the hot water in the jars was 135* in order to heat the cooler enough to keep the incubating yogurt at the target temp of 110 *

After the milk had cooled to 110*, I used the wire whisk to mix the yogurt into it. I then covered it and put it in the cooler along with the jars of hot water.

After 4 hrs I quickly and carefully removed the jars of hot water, reheated them to about 135*, carefully put them back in the cooler and closed it back up

In 7 hrs I opened the cooler up and - voila! perfectly set yogurt!

One final step to get the super creamy yogurt greek style yogurt (If you like regular yogurt, just omit this) -

I carefully poured the congealed yogurt from the casserole dish into the colander. I had a super fine one that worked great for me, but you can also just line a regular colander with cheesecloth so your yogurt doesn't slide through the larger openings. I set the colander in pan and stuck it all in the fridge overnight. In the morning, much of the whey had drained off and I was left with about 2 cups of thick creamy goodness - yum!

The final cost was about 1/3 of the cost of commercial greek yogurt.

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