I don’t know about you, but yogurt is a lunchtime staple around our house. While store-bought yogurt is delicious (Can I get a whoop-whoop for Yoplait whips? or Fage?), it can be pricey, full of unnecessary sugar, and full of preservatives. So what’s a girl to do? Make her own of course!
Now before you think I’m all hippy or something or that I’m just off my rocker for wanting to make my own yogurt, let me explain. This has to be one of the easiest things I make on a regular basis. There is literally five minutes (all together) of hands on time. The rest is just waiting.
Here’s a synopsis:
- You pour.
- You scald.
- You cool.
- You stir.
- You wait.
- And then if you want to, you strain.
I make my yogurt from a gallon of milk at a time. And if I don’t strain it, I get a gallon of regular yogurt, perhaps a little thinner than store-bought, but not by much. But I usually strain it to about half, over cheesecloth, to get nice, thick, creamy greek-style yogurt. You can even strain it further to get what they call yogurt cheese which can be a great substitute for cream cheese or ricotta. You can’t beat half a gallon of greek-style yogurt for less than 4 dollars.
I like to eat this yogurt plain, or with granola, or with chopped fruit over the top, or sweetened with honey or jam or my husband’s favorite: lemon curd.
This really can’t be simpler. Don’t believe me. Check out the recipe below!
1 gallon milk (any percentage)
3 tablespoons already prepared yogurt (you can use store-bought or homemade)
cheesecloth (you can buy in grocery stores or on Amazon)
- Pour the milk into a large saucepan and scald. This means to heat up but not boil. Do not boil. I tell when to turn the heat off by looking at the surface of the milk. By then it will have formed a thin skin, and when it’s ready it will have reached the “alien stage” as I like to call it. The “alien stage” is when you can see ripples under the skin moving, like something is trying to get out of the milk. After it is doing that steadily, and it’s a little frothy, turn off the heat.
- Let the milk cool down some. This is an important step. If you skip this, you’ll kill the yogurt starter and just have some warm milk. I usually let it cool for about 45 minutes to an hour. It needs to be just warm to the touch.
- Spoon out the skin. You need to take this off, or else you’ll be eating it in your yogurt. Mmmm, plasticky yogurt pieces.
- Stir in the tablespoons of yogurt.
- Place the mixture, covered, in a warm spot. I like to use the oven with the oven light on. It’s warm enough, controlled enough, and enough out of my way. Let it sit in that environment for at least 8 hours. More often than not, I leave it for much longer, like overnight or all day.
- Refrigerate the yogurt (yes, it’s yogurt now) until cool. Then strain if desired. I do suggest a little straining, because it does have a lot of whey produced.
- Eat and enjoy. Flavor however you want!