Foolproof Homemade Yogurt
I wrote this a long time ago and because it's become so popular, I thought it only fair to completely rewrite it. It was good, but now it's time to make it even easier for you to make delicious yogurt right at home. Why make yogurt when you can buy it? Well, for me it's because it's a heck of a lot cheaper. Besides that, it's really yummy and you know exactly what it's made out of (because you made it).
Now, there are all kinds of techniques and proper this and that's everyone will tell you about. However, this is simply what I do all the time and it works. So...simple, tried and proven, here we go.
Step one: buy a gallon of milk
buy a small yogurt with live or active culture per half gallon of milk you want to make
Step two: Pour as much milk in a pot as you want to turn into yogurt
Step three: Stir your milk as you heat it up on the stove. You're going to let it get hot enough to froth, but don't let it get to boiling temperatures.
Step four: Cool your milk to about 110 degrees F. I have done this without a thermometer as well. If you can keep your cleaned finger in for 10 seconds it's about perfect.
Step five: put your yogurt right into the pot and give it a quick stir.
Last: Wrap your pot with some thick blankets for 8 or more hours to keep it warm. If you have a pot that fits in a rice cooker, that'll do it too. Just don't turn it on. If you have a yogurt maker, even better! You could also put it in an oven that's been warmed and is turned off, but this doesn't work as well in the winter, as the oven cools off too quickly.
Unwrap it after 8 hours or a bit more if need be and you'll have a huge pot of yogurt made by you!
One last tip that you can choose to do or not, is to make your milk from powdered milk instead of buying it BECAUSE you can make it thicker, which will give you nice and thick yogurt. No pectin necessary. Then you can top your yogurt with whatever you like. If you like that strawberry flavored stuff from the store, for example, put one teaspoon of strawberry jam and stir. It's awesome. Temperature is really key here...keep it warm, but not too hot. Kinda like what you do for yeast.
Happy yogurt making!