I've made previous attempts at making my own yogurt.
It wasn't until our recent flood / forced remodel that my attempts became more practical. Making yogurt requires an incubator. I'm not an expert at this yet, but it seems that you need to be able to hold the yogurt at about 110 degrees for 5 hours or so to grow that bacteria culture. While there are countertop yogurt makers that you just plug in, I don't own one. My attempts to incubate in my previous stove were failures. Using the heating pad took time and effort that I wanted to spend on other things.
But my lovely new stove can do anything. Under dehydrator setting, you can select 110 degrees. I set the timer and walk away. Now I can make a batch easily each week. I'm experimenting a bit with adding a little local honey, but here is my basic procedure.
- 4 cup milk in a good pan on the stove top brought to 200 degrees, stirring gently. I put my candy thermometer in the pan so that I can see the termperature.
- Hold temp for 10 minutes. Continue stirring. I set a timer here and do this fairly precisely.
- During the 10 minutes, prepare a large boil of ice water.
- At the end of 10 minutes, put the pan in ice water.
- Remove from ice water when the mixutre is 125 degrees. Add 1/3 cup powdered milk and stir to incorporate.
- Remove 1 cup of milk and temper with 1/4 cup of starter (see below.)
- Pour into a hot clean container, cover and place in incubator @ 110 degrees for 4 - 5 hours. Refrigerate immediately.
For the starter, use 1/4 cup of good organic yogurt. Make sure the ingredient list contains only milk and/or cream. My favorite brand also contains pectin to make it smoother, which I guess is okay.
But here is the good thing. You can use the last 1/4 c. of your last batch of Yogurt for the starter for this batch. That is exactly what I've been doing for the last few weeks. Isn't that just perfect?