Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Time to make yogurt

About a year ago, a friend of mine was really surprised that I didn’t make my own yogurt.
Of course this prompted my interest, and when I realized you can make yogurt on the stove (instead of a yogurt maker) and with lowfat milk instead of whole milk (by adding nonfat dry milk in step 1), I was psyched!

The other thing I was excited to learn was that you don’t have to buy a “starter” every time you make it.  As long as you save one cup of yogurt before running out, you have your starter. 

The hardest part was finding quart sized jars at a reasonable price.  I felt like I should be able to find these used at Goodwill or at a yard sale, but I couldn’t find them anywhere, and I didn’t want to have to buy a whole case of quart jars.  I finally found these at Home Goods for 2.99 each, and was super excited about it. 

Supposedly, you are supposed to sterilize your jars before making yogurt, but I usually wash them in the dishwasher and put them in a cabinet until I’m ready to make yogurt.  The final jar I usually wash by hand, and my yogurt has always turned out just fine without the sterilization step.

1.  Heat 1 gallon of milk over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of 185-195.  (If using 1% milk,      add 2 cups of nonfat dry milk during this step).
2.  Cool on the counter until the temperature drops to 120.DSC09938
3.  Add starter yogurt (1 cup of plain yogurt with live active cultures) and mix thoroughly.
4.  dump into your 4 jars, put lids on and put the jars in a cooler surrounded by 120 degree water.   I heat a large pot of water (about 16 cups) to 120 degrees, and dump the water in FIRST, then put the jars in and close cooler.  Let them sit for about 4-5 hours, then refrigerate. 

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