Okay, probably a lot of people realized that, but I didn't until a few months ago when CrunchyBetty put up a post about it.
Unfortunately, her method just wouldn't work for me. Luckily though, I found some instructions elsewhere that worked great!
Look up here! Look up here! These fabulous instructions are from Michael W. Reeps.
Let's Get Started!
So first, you'll need to get all your supplies clean and ready! I use:
- Stirring spoon
- Double Boiler
- ~optional~ Draining bowl and strainer (although that comes the next day)
- A lidded jar (again, for the next day)
- Milk (however much you start with = the amount of yogurt you will end up with)
- Yogurt (yes, you need yogurt to make yogurt, unless you are currently growing your own cultures)Be sure it's a healthy, plain yogurt with actual live cultures! In my area, I love Zoi and Chobani, as they have the largest variety of cultures that I can find.
Boil all the equipment you can for about 10 minutes to get it good and clean.
Once everything is clean and dry, put your milk in the double boiler (top of course!) and heat until it reaches 185°. Keep it steady at that temperature for about 30 minutes, and then take the milk off to cool.
At this point you could wait for the milk to cool, or put the pot in a sink of ice-cold water to help it along. Either way, get the milk down to 110°. This is the right temperature for the bacteria in your yogurt to start lacto-fermenting.
So when the milk reaches 110°, stir in your yogurt. Reeps says to add 2-3 Tbs to half a gallon of milk, and since I never measure mine, go ahead and follow his advice.
Next, stir your yogurt/milk mixture, and then gently put it to bed.
By this of course, I mean cover it with a towel and keep in a warm, dry, dark space. A heating pad works great; just set it to medium and put the bowl on top. Just be sure nothing overly flammable is around!
Now, the longer you wait, the thicker and tangier your yogurt is going to get. Start your first batch at 7 hours, and work from there. I personally like mine to ferment for about 10 hours.
After that agonizing wait, you get to...... wait some more! Hooray!
You see, to halt the bacteria's growth (and also to thicken the yogurt up a bit more), you have to stir it and put it in the fridge - overnight. Oh boy. So next you stir the curdling yogurt in the bowl, pour it into your chosen container, and set it in the fridge.
After that though, your yogurt is ready to be enjoyed.
Unless of course you want to go through the extra special next step!
Make Your Own GREEK Yogurt
Yum, Greek yogurt is my favourite! Luckily, turning your yogurt Greek is the simplest part of all.
Just strain it, in one way or another. Cheesecloth or coffee filters will work. Sadly, at the time I took the following pictures, I only had paper towels... which do not work all that well. Unless of course you like the texture that paper towel bits add to your precious yogurt.
Once your yogurt is as strained as you like it, put it back into the container. Keep that nutritious whey that you strained out though, and incorporate it into your diet somehow. I personally like putting it in smoothies, or being super fancy and freezing into ice cubes for the smoothie.
Finally, your yogurt is ready to eat! You can enjoy it plain, put granola on it, make it into a sandwich spread, doctor it up with fruit or honey, mix it with pomegranate juice and freeze it into little drops, anything your mind can think of! Just be sure to set some aside as the starter for when you make your next batch.
All right! Check you out, you fancy creator of yogurt! Aren't you proud of yourself? I'm certainly proud of you!
Now take your duff out into the world and boast of your yogurty prowess!