I have been away for a few days. I burned my right hand kind of badly. Actually, I burned all the fingers of my right hand. I can do very little with it and it is very frustrating! Thankfully, I took pictures while making yogurt on thursday.
My yogurt story: The year 2000 was a big year for me. I had my fourth baby, stopped working and had to let go of our nanny. In an effort to save a few pennies where ever I could I started learning how to make lots of things for myself. I found a book called The Tightwad Gazette at the library and checked out the 3 volumes dozens of times. I read them cover to cover learning lots of little tricks including how to make yogurt. That is a great full proof recipe, but…
All you need to make yogurt is whole milk and starter (yogurt from another batch or store bought yogurt with live active enzymes) I buy organic or Dannon. You may not use all the yogurt before it goes bad so one thing you can do is freeze the yogurt 3 tablespoons at a time in ice cube trays, if your ice cube tray is small try one tablespoon at a time. Then at yogurt making time, just remove exactly what you need and set it out to defrost.
If you have a candy thermometer it will come in handy. Bring a quart of milk to 180 degrees, if you do not have a thermometer that is until the milk is almost to a boil.
While you are doing this, measure out three tablespoons of your yogurt starter. Put the starter in a bowl so that it gets to room temperature.
Now its time to incubate your yogurt. This is the only tricky part. If your yogurt fails it will be runny but don’t dispair, as I learned from The Tightwad Gazette, you can use it in smoothies or popsicles or baking. In order for the yogurt to set up correctly, it needs to incubate at between 85 to 100 degrees, any higher and your yogurt may curdle.
What I do is cover my bowl with a lid (I don’t use plastic wrap) and wrap it in a blanket. Then I put it in a cooler and check on it in a few hours. I only let my yogurt incubate for about 6 hours and then it goes in the fridge. You may want to leave it a bit longer…up to you. It comes out sweet and not too tangy. Some people put it in their gas oven where the pilot light will keep it at the correct temp but alas, I have no gas hee hee.
It costs me about $4.00 to make a gallon of yogurt. At that price, my kids can eat as much as they want, and they do. We sweeten our yogurt with whatever jam or preserves we have around and it is wonderful topped off with some vanilla macaron granola.
one less thing to buy at the store and it will have all of 2 ingredients in it.