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What’s Cookin’…Yogurt

on February 7, 2013

For the last year I have been making yogurt instead of buying it and it is one the of easiest things I make. My kids love yogurt and I used to buy two large quart sized containers every week, which got expensive. My sister Tessa showed me how to make my own and I haven’t turned back since. This method has worked every time except one and it was only because I over heated the milk by a lot. I would highly recommend trying this if you have yogurt lovers at your house.

Start with buying a good quality plain yogurt, I use Stoneyfield Farm. Next buy a half gallon or gallon of milk. I prefer organic whole milk because it makes thicker yogurt. If you use organic milk make sure it is only pasteurized.  Ultra-pasteurized milk does not make good yogurt. I found that organic milk in half gallon containers is ultra-pasteurized so I buy a whole gallon and use the rest in baking, in cooking, or I let the kids drink it. Buying the whole gallon is still cheaper than buying two quarts of organic yogurt from the store.

Once you have the yogurt and the milk decide how much you want to make. I make four pint jar a week which is half a gallon.  I measure out four pints of milk into a pan.

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Turn the heat onto  medium and put in a candy thermometer. Let the milk warm up to 180 degrees. Do not go over or your yogurt will have a funny texture. I usually do this while I am making dinner so I can keep an eye on it and still do other things. After the milk reaches 180 degrees, so all the bags bugs are killed, take the pot off the heat and let it cool to 110 degrees. This takes a while so just check on it every 15 to 20 minutes. I also stir the milk some times during heating and cooling so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

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When the milk it almost to 110 degrees I get my cooler ready. I use a small cooler and fill it part way with water that is 110 degrees. The water and cooler keep the yogurt at the right temperature while incubating. I turn the faucet onto hot and put the hot water+

into cooler. I check the temperature with a thermometer and then adjust by adding warm or cold water to get it just right. I want the water to go most of the way up the jars so water amount depends on your cooler.

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Now I prep my jars. I put 1/2 Tablespoon of yogurt into each of the four pint jars. If you are using quart size jars use 1 Tablespoon per jar.  In this picture I am using yogurt from my last batch. Once you make yogurt you do not have to buy it again. If you save a few Tablespoons each time you make yogurt it starts the next batch. I only bought yogurt once in the last year because I went on vacation and cleaned out my jars. You can keep it in the fridge for over a week but try to use it every week to keep your yogurt culture active.

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Now I pour the 110 degree milk into each jar and give it a stir.

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When I am done stirring I put on the lids and place them in the cooler. I put the cooler in a place where it will not be moved or bumped and leave it 8-24 hours.

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I leave my jars in the cooler over night and in the morning, voila, yogurt!

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And how do we eat our yogurt? Well, today we had it with a little it of jam stirred in. There are many things you can add to make it exciting, so be creative and enjoy!

 

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3 responses to “What’s Cookin’…Yogurt

  1. Jen Skinner says:

    We should do this. The girls adore yogurt & eat it every morning. I agree buying it does get expensive! Any idea how I could make it vanilla flavored? That’s the kind they prefer.

    • emilyrconner says:

      Jen, the best way to do this is add vanilla extract after you have made the yogurt. I would put it in another bowl and mix in a little at a time until it tastes right. Then I would put it in single serving jars or back into my original jar. Good luck 🙂

  2. Hannah says:

    I have yet to find NON ultra pasturized milk.. someday I WILL make my own yogurt! Thanks for sharing with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday. I hope you stop by again today! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2013/03/stamping-fun-at-eco-kids-tuesday.html

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