Saturday, September 20, 2008

Yogurt (How To Make Homemade Yogurt)

It is quite simple and easy to make yogurt at home. If you only taste homemade yogurt once, you will not want to eat store-bought ones. My friend Linola was not a yogurt fan before she tasted homemade yogurt; now she makes it regularly! It is so light, creamy, refreshing and very economical too. You really do not need any fancy equipment either - just a nice clean container and a warm, draft-free spot!

Packets of culture are available in health food stores. I have also used a couple of spoonfuls of plain yogurt with active culture - make sure there are no additives such as gelatin or thickeners of any kind. I have found that Greek-style yogurt or plain buttermilk work well also. Check to make sure that the culture is active - i.e. it is added after the pasteurization process and not before.

Use any type of milk - from skim to half and half - for making yogurt. Long ago in those carefree days when we did not worry about fat or calories I used to make yogurt with a hefty dose of half and half for my husband - one quart of 1/2 and 1/2 and two quarts of whole milk - and it was absolutely delicious. Now I use milk with 1 or 2 percent fat and it is still delicious though not as rich.

You can reduce, double or triple this recipe; make as little or as much as you like.

You can flavor individual servings of plain yogurt by adding honey, your favorite fruit or jam.

4 (one cup) Servings

Nutrition Information: It will depend on the type of milk you use.


1 quart Milk (any type - skim to whole)
Yogurt culture packet OR 2 Tbsp good yogurt with active culture


Wash a 2-quart sauce pan and rinse with cold water. Pour the milk in the wet pan and slowly bring to scalding point or a boil. Wet pan and slow heating prevent sticking and burning of milk solids.

Cover and cool until baby-bottle warm; it should be lukewarm.

Have a clean container for setting the yogurt.

Transfer to a glass or stainless container and stir in the culture. Follow manufacturer's direction if using packaged culture. Cover and leave undisturbed in a draft-free spot for about 6-8 hours or overnight.

If the yogurt has set, place the container in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly to rest and firm up - about 2 to 4 hours. If you disturb the yogurt right after setting, it is still very fragile and will break up (it will still taste great though). Chilling is done strictly to firm up the texture.

Serve cool, cold, or at room temperature. Save a few spoonfuls of the fresh yogurt to culture the next batch.

CAUTION: The container for setting yogurt must be absolutely clean. Any impurities will tamper with the culture and will not produce a satisfactory result. Always use a clean spoon to serve the desired amount of yogurt.

Note: When weather is warm, the yogurt sets quickly; so as soon as it has set it should be refrigerated promptly to prevent it from becoming too tart. But if temperature is chilly, it might take all 8 hours or more. I wrap the cultured milk container with warm towels and set it in a warm area of the kitchen in the winter to ensure that the culture works in a timely manner.

Thick Yogurt: For making thick yogurt, fortify the cooled milk by stirring in one cup of nonfat dry milk and then let set. Or just drain the homemade yogurt through a fine muslin cloth until desired consistency has been reached.

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