Hard to believe, but until yesterday I had never made my own yogurt. That whole craze of electric yogurt makers some years ago passed me by unscathed. Instead, all this time I've obtained my quarts of low-fat plain in the grocery store.
But recently, browsing through a magazine, I stumbled across a recipe for homemade yogurt that had two great things going for it: (1) it was easy; and (2) it didn't call for me to buy any new gadgets. So I thought, what the heck, and give it a whirl. The yogurt turned out just great and is supposedly full of probiotics.
Now that I've made a delish batch using 2% milk, I'll be more experimental in the future. I may try soy milk, or rice milk, or even goat milk. The world is my yogurt!
Want to try it yourself? You will need a thermometer that reads liquids; for some reason, even though I have never, ever made candy, I had a candy thermometer. It worked perfectly with this.
Here's the recipe:
1 quart (4 cups) whole or lowfat milk
2 tablespoons high-quality, plain yogurt
- Pour milk into a saucepan, and bring to just below boiling over medium heat. When it approaches the boil, turn down to a simmer. Let simmer for 2 minutes. Stir from time to time, taking care that the milk doesn't scorch.
- Remove from heat. Place pan on hotpad and let cool until the thermometer reads between 110-115° F. *(See note below)
- As the milk begins its cooling process, preheat the oven to 200° F.
- When the milk has cooled to the desired temperature (110-115°), place 2 tablespoons of yogurt into a large bowl.
- Slowly stir 1/2 cup of the warm milk into the yogurt until thoroughly blended.
- Turn off the oven (it only needs a little warmth to set the yogurt).
- Stir the remaining warm milk into the bowl.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in the oven. Be sure you've turned it off as in Step 6. It will take anywhere from 6-14 hours for the yogurt to set.
- When the yogurt has set (gelled), stir thoroughly and spoon into a storage container--old yogurt containers are perfect--and place in the fridge. Let it sit for a day before using.