Friday, February 22, 2013

Homemade Yogurt

My sister originally shared this recipe with me from a website on making homemade yogurt. I use the oven style recipe, but my oven doesn't go that low in degrees so I don't incubate it like that. I watched my sister make it and thought it was rather complicated, but after doing it a few times now, it's really not that bad. I also looked up a youtube video from Alton Brown about making yogurt and watching that gave me the idea of using the heating pad and it gave me a few more helpful tips too.

1/2 gallon of milk (I use 1%)
2 cups instant dry milk powder
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla (suggest using good vanilla but I use whatever)
6-8oz yogurt (make sure it says it contains live cultures)

you will also need:
thermometer (candy preferably or meat works too)
very large pot (I use 2)
heating pad (don't have to have this but it makes it a lot easier)
3 glass quart jars with lids
large towel

Place milk and dry milk in a pot over high heat. Stir constantly (easily burns I find). Heat to 180 degrees. Fill sink with ice water and place pot in the ice bath. Add sugar and stir well. Cool milk to 110-115 degrees and stir in vanilla and yogurt. Fill quart jars evenly (won't fill them all the way to the top) with the milk mixture. Now, in a very large, tall pot, put jars in and fill with hot water (110-115 degrees). I find I have to add a small pot of boiling water to get it this hot since we keep our water heater not so hot. Fill the water to just below the lids. Put the lid on the pot and put the pot on top of your heating pad. Wrap a towel around the pot and turn the heating pad on high or medium heat. Your yogurt can be ready in as little as 4-6 hours, but you can keep it in there up to 12 hours. The longer you let it sit, the thicker and tangier it gets (more like Greek yogurt) and the more beneficial bacteria it has. The yogurt in my picture was done for 13 hours and it was very thick. I made it again and left it for 10 hours and it was not nearly as thick. Check your water temperature as it incubates every few hours to make sure it stays at 110-115 degrees. I have found it best to start early in the morning, let it incubate all day and then refrigerate it overnight. If you see watery substance on the top after making it or after it's in the fridge, that is the whey. It's good for you and full of protein. You can either pour it off if you want your yogurt thicker or you can stir it in, but be aware the more you stir your yogurt around, the thinner it becomes. Be aware of that if you add fruit or granola to your yogurt as well.

WW points: If you use 1% or fat free milk, 1/2 cup = 2 points

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