Homemade Yogurt

I love cheese and most dairy products but I've never been a fan of milk or eating dishes prepared with milk (rice pudding, for example). Yogurt is another food I used to hate! I always associated it with my dislike for milk. My mother always had a jar with yogurt starter on the kitchen counter. She would change the milk every other day (I think; I don't remember exactly how often) and it produced a thick liquid yogurt. She used to mix it with fresh fruit in her blender and my sisters drank it as a healthy breakfast - I never liked it.

Last year, Kim, The Farmer's Marketer, posted a recipe for homemade yogurt. Kim uses a different method than my mother. My mom's recipe seemed to need more tending, which is something that turned me off. Since I have been trying to eat healthier food, I decided to incorporate yogurt into my diet and to give Kim's recipe a try.

After making yogurt for the first time, I fell in love with it! I have been making my own yogurt for several months now. I turn half a gallon of milk into yogurt every other week and store it in individual portions. I eat yogurt for breakfast every morning during the week; sometimes with dates or fresh fruit but most of the time with homemade granola (another one of Kim's recipes). I also like to make yogurt cheese to eat with bread or crackers.

If you want to make your own yogurt, you will need to buy a small container of plain commercial yogurt to start with. I only used commercial yogurt in the first batch I made. After that, I have been using the whey to make new batches; I drain some of the yogurt for two days and it produces excellent cheese and about 3/4 cup of whey. I use this to make my next batch of yogurt; it works great.

Plain Yogurt
(from Kim's recipe)

1/2 gallon organic milk, at room temperature
2-3 T. plain commercial yogurt, at room temperature
hot water (almost boiling)

You will need a candy thermometer and an insulated container like a cooler.

In a large pot with heavy bottom, warm the milk at very low heat stiring constantly to avoid scalding it (use a wooden spoon). When it reaches 185°-190°F, turn the heat off and let the milk come down to a temperature of 120°-125°F. Stir in the commercial yogurt until thoughly mixed. Pour into one or more containers and cover (I use 15 individual containers - recycled jars). Place filled containers in the cooler with a jar of hot water, cover with a kitchen towel, close the cooler and let it sit undisturbed in a warm place. If the starter was active and the temperature correct, you will have beautiful yogurt after 8 hours. (I always start my yogurt around 6:00 PM and it is ready in the morning). Cool in the refrigerator before serving.

To make cheese, add a little bit of salt to your yogurt and drain it in a fine strainer or a coffee filter over a container. Drain in the refrigerator overnight (two nights if you like thicker cheese). Save the whey for your next batch of yogurt, or use yogurt from your first batch.


Recetas Trucos Tips said...

Muchas gracias por mostrame el enlace a cómo haces tú el yogur :)

me parece interesante la opcion de meterlo en el refrigerador :)


ISA said...

muchas gracias por pasarme el enlace. Soy bastante novata haciendo yogures, se nota no?. Voy a buscar.... haber si encuentro un termometro y lo volvere a intentar soy bastante tozuda, ya te contare. Saludos.