How to Make Your Own Homemade Yogurt Fast Cheap Hassle-Free
My method of making your own yogurt might not appeal to everyone out there, but it sure works for me, and I have been making and consuming yogurt daily using this same method since 2003 when I started working (its been more than 5 years already!). My health is still excellent so far, so don't worry, its all safe.
Why make your own yogurt? Why not skip all the hassle and just buy from the supermart?
I can think of at least 4 reasons:
1) Freshness = Good Health
Have you seen the ingredient label on the back of a yogurt tub lately? Manufacturers add stabilisers and other what-nots sweeteners, which make the yogurt creamier and sweeter than it actually should be. If you have eaten fresh yogurt before, you will know that its not sweet at all. In fact, it's a bit sour.
If you make your own yogurt, you will know exactly what ingredients goes into it. And its all fresh because its freshly-made and eaten, and not left on the supermart shelves for days.
Things are getting more and more expensive these days. A 1-liter tub of yogurt costs SGD $7++ in my country. If I make my own yogurt, I get to eat it everyday for cents per day because I only spend $ to buy a small tub for 1 time as my starting seed culture, and my future batches of yogurt will sustain me forever. In the long-run, I save a lot of $.
3) Taste & Texture
I can customise the taste and texture of my yogurt exactly as I want it.
Supermart-sold yogurt is much too sweet for my liking. I rather mix in fresh fruits.
4) Personal Satisfaction
I get a sense of satisfaction when I make delicious yogurt, at the same time allows me to save $ and reap the health benefits of yogurt.
STEPS TO MAKE YOUR OWN YOGURT
STEP 1: Buy 1 small tub of your favourite yogurt, and 1 one-liter full-cream milk from the supermarket.
For yogurt, get those with Live Cultures (ie. the bacteria that is good for your body).
This is your starting culture that you need for all your future yogurt production.
Always refrigerate your yogurt after opening.
For milk, choose full-cream milk and not those low-fat milk.
Full-cream milk gives better yogurt texture. For those people who are lactose-intolerant, no worries, during the yogurt cultivation process, the yogurt cultures will convert the lactose to lactic acid which gives yogurt its sour taste.
From my own experience, the UHT types of milk are also fine.
You may need to experiment with different brands/types of milk to get the yogurt flavour you prefer the most.
STEP 2: Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat it to just before it boils, to sterilise it. Then let it cool down to about 40 degrees celsius. [Optional]
For me, I always skip this step to save time and trouble. The packeted milk has already been sterilised by the manufacturer, right?
What I do is, I just take the milk out from the fridge and let it go to room temperature first, as low temperatures are not good at all for yogurt production because the live cultures are still "asleep".
STEP 3: Pour milk into a glass container & stir in some yogurt
For the glass container, I am using a Leggo Pizza sauce glass jar. The capacity is 750ML which is just nice for 2 days worth of yogurt. For me, I make in small batches only so as to keep the yogurt I consume as fresh as possible.
Yogurt production needs oxygen to work its magic, so the cover of the glass jar cannot be capped on. What I do is, I just cover the jar opening with a piece of tissue paper and a rubber band, so that no ants, insects, flies or other creepy-crawlies get into my precious yogurt while my back is turned.
STEP 4: Place the concoction in a consistently warm place
You need a consistently warm place because, depending on the temperature, it takes about 5-6 hours for the yogurt to form. The hotter the place, the lesser the time required. But not too hot, because it will kill off the live cultures. Preferably around 40 degrees or so.
What I do is, I place the glass jar on top of my fridge. Its always consistently hot there, and the heat is wasted, why not make use of it? Based on my experimentation with the timing, it needs to clock around 5 hours there before the yogurt reaches the texture I love, similar to the ones sold in the supermart. If you put there too long, the yogurt gets very thick and sour and not quite tasty (unless you are the type who loves sour yogurt!)
Other than on top of a fridge, I have also tried placing it beside the hot air vent of my laptop, while I download stuff overnight. It can get pretty hot there! To distribute heat evenly around the top and bottom part of the jar, I wrap a small towel around it. Its a bit crude, but it works.
Timing-wise, you will need to experiment yourself. Every 1 hour or so, you can stick a long spoon in and give it a stir to see if the texture is ok.
What I do is, when I reach home at around 6pm after work, I start the yogurt-making process, and before 12 when I sleep, I refrigerate my yogurt, ready for consumption the next morning/day.
STEP 5: Let the finished yogurt cool down to room temperature, then refrigerate immediately.
Once your yogurt has reached the texture you prefer, let it go back to room temperature, after that, refrigerate immediately to conserve freshness.
Serve cold as-is, or cut some fruits in to add some sweetness to your yogurt!
Perfect homemade, tasty yogurt!