Uhm, here we go! :o)
Ever since I tasted homemade yogurt in Austria as a kid, I have been dreaming of making my own.
-But I have always feared that it was super complicated!
Guess what!? It’s not!!!
It only takes two ingredients – and a Yogurt Maker.
And it’s all (or only) about heating up the milk – and cooling it down.
How hard can that be?!
So let’s get started!
Ingredients: (Makes 7 small jars)
6 cups of milk
1 packet of Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter (OR 1 jar of a plain yogurt – that contains live cultures!)
(Beans from a pod of vanilla)
It is extremely important that all utensils are disinfected/scalded before use. The live cultures in yogurt are bacteria and they can be affected by other bacteria that may be on your dishes and utensils.
I always start out by boil a pot of water and dip in the utensils (except my Thermometer) I will need, then dump out the water and everything I need to use is clean.
I wash my Thermometer in warm water.
Milk with a higher fat content makes much thicker, milder yogurt, so I use whole milk in every batch. But you can use any milk you like – Goat’s, Soy, Fat-Free…
If you are using a store bought plain yogurt for your starter, it can be tricky to tell if it actually contains live cultures. It may list cultures in the ingredients, but if it does not not have the live and active cultures seal, it probably has been heat-treated and will not work.
I have had succes using Stonyfield Yogurt for a culture, but I recommend using a Freeze-dried yogurt starter – it works great for me every time. But you can also use a glass of your homemade yogurt as a starter, but only every second time!
(Do not use Greek Yogurt as a starter. Greek yogurt is made by straining the whey out of regular yogurt, and thus has everything to do with method and not with the starter. And FYI, Greek yogurt starter does NOT make Greek yogurt.)
1) Start by heating up the milk until it boils and starts to climb the side of the saucepan. (When I make the Vanilla version I add the Vanilla Beans to boil with the milk.) Use a spoon instead of a whisk and stir to avoid skin forming.
2) Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the milk to cool to lukewarm (95 degrees Fahrenheit or at least 110 degrees Fahrenheit) before adding the culture otherwise you risk killing the cultures.You can accelerate the cooling by placing the saucepan i cold water (I also do that). Remove skin if it appears. If you don’t have a Thermometer you can use your finger. When you can keep the little finger down, the milk is lukewarm.
3) Stir in 1 packet of culture OR one glass jar (6 oz) full of plain yogurt with some of the milk in a separate bowl until the yogurt is dissolved and you have a smooth mixture.
4) Mix in the room temperature milk very well with the smooth mixture as prepared above.
5) Pour the mixture into the seven jars and place WITHOUT THE LIDS in the Yogurt Maker, turn it on, cover with the clear cover and wait at least 6 hours. (mine stays in there for up to 20 hours – and the yogurt gets more smooth i think)
6) There is a 2-hour cooling-off period for thermophilic yogurt, to help ease the transition between culturing temperature and refrigerator temperature. Finished yogurt should be refrigerated for at least 6 hours to halt the culturing process.
Once the fermentation has been stopped, it will not restart even if the milk is brought back to room temperature.
I always start making my batch in the morning – around 10 or 11 am.
Then I put the jars in the yogurt maker and let them stay there all night. When I get up next morning I put the jars in the fridge.
Sometimes I take them out before I go to bed, but I find them to get more smooth when they stay longer.