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Homemade Yogurt for Half the Price

Greek yogurt has recently become the rage in yogurt choices. Did you know that you can make your own, and it is cheaper than you can buy it from the store? I will share with you the process for making great yogurt, both in both traditional and Greek styles. I will also include the recipes for plain, vanilla (regular and sugar free), and maple (regular and sugar free) flavors.

Equipment:

  • Two large kettles – one that fits in the other to act as a double boiler
  • A dairy or candy thermometer
  • A heating pad or your oven to incubate your yogurt
  • Quart jars or other containers for storing your yogurt in

All yogurts start out the same—you make traditional, plain yogurt first. You make any of the different flavors and varieties by making additions after the yogurt is made or by changing the end process of your plain yogurt recipes. I will walk through making the plain yogurt first.

The Basic Recipe

Ingredients:

  • A gallon of milk – I use fresh milk with the cream skimmed off, but you can use store-bought milk in the variety you prefer; fresh, skimmed cow’s milk; or even fresh, skimmed goats milk.
  • 3-4 ounces of plain yogurt – either store bought or saved from a previous batch

Directions:

  1. Place the largest kettle on the stove. Fill it about half way with water and heat to boiling.
  2. Pour your milk into the smaller kettle and place it in the water-filled kettle. Adjust the level of the water so that it matches the level of the milk in smaller kettle.
  3. Place the thermometer in the milk-filled kettle. It should not touch the bottom.
  4. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid scorching the milk.
  5. If you are using fresh milk, heat it to 185° F (this is when the milk begins to foam like a latte) and hold it there for 45 minutes. If you are using store-bought milk, check to see if it is pasteurized (most store-bought milk is). If it is pasteurized, skip this step.
  6. Bring milk to 110° (until you can hold your finger in the milk and count to ten before you have to remove it). If you can leave you finger in longer than a ten count, then you need to warm it a bit more. Once it is up to 110°, remove the kettle of milk from the heat.
  7. Put a small amount of the milk into a bowl and add the plain yogurt. Mix well. Add the yogurt mixture to the milk. (This step is called “pitching” your yogurt.)
  8. Place the heating pad on cutting board or countertop.
  9. Put the kettle of milk on the heating pad. Set the temperature on the heating pad to medium. Cover the kettle with a towel to keep warm. If you don’t have a heating pad, heat your oven to 150° (or its lowest setting).

10.  Let the kettle sit undisturbed for eight to twelve hours (or overnight) until it reaches your desired thickness and taste. This is the incubation period.

11.  Stir well and place in the refrigerator for two hours. This stops the incubation process.

12.  Pour your yogurt into jars or containers and refrigerate until cold (about two more hours). This will yield four quarts of yogurt.  If you plan to cook with your yogurt, add four tablespoons of cornstarch, mixing well, before putting the yogurt into the containers.

Your plain yogurt is now ready to eat or flavor according to directions below.

French Yogurt:

  1. Begin like the plain yogurt above, following steps 1-3.
  2. While doing step 4,  add 1 1/3 cups powdered milk, stirring well with a wire whisk to avoid getting lumps.
  3. Finish steps 5-12.

Your plain French yogurt is now ready to eat or flavor according to directions below.

Greek Yogurt:

  1. Make the plain yogurt above, using steps 1-11.  Chill only two hours.
  2. Place several layers of cheesecloth (or a single layer of butter muslin) in a large colander.
  3. Pour in the cultured milk.
  4. Tie the corners into a knot and hang the bag over a bowl or the sink for two hours.
  5. Pour into a bowl and whip with an electric mixer for two minutes or until smooth (like whipped cream).
  6. Pour into jars or containers and refrigerate until cold (about two hours). This recipe will only yield two quarts of yogurt.

Now your plain Greek yogurt is ready to eat or flavor according to directions below.

You can flavor any of these recipes as follows or experiment with your own flavor combinations.

Vanilla Yogurt:

  • The plain yogurt of your choice from above completed to step 11.
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2 cups of sugar
  1. Whip with an electric mixer for one minute.
  2. Add vanilla and mix well.
  3. Slowly add the sugar and mix well.
  4. Continuing mixing two minutes until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour into containers and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Sugar Free Vanilla:

  • The plain yogurt of your choice from above completed to step 11.
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 cup Splenda
  • 1 cup stevia
  1. Whip with an electric mixer for one minute.
  2. Add vanilla and mix well.
  3. Slowly add the sweeteners, alternating and mixing well between additions.
  4. Continuing mixing two minutes until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour into containers and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Maple:

  • The plain yogurt of your choice from above completed to step 11.
  • 1 cup maple syrup (artificially flavored or true maple syrup)
  • 1 cup sugar (add more or less to taste).
  1. Whip with an electric mixer for one minute.
  2. Add syrup and mix well.
  3. Slowly add the sugar and mix well.
  4. Continuing mixing two minutes until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour into containers and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Sugar Free Maple:

  • The plain yogurt of your choice from above completed to step 11.
  • 1 cup sugar-free maple syrup
  • 1 cup stevia
  1. Whip with an electric mixer for one minute.
  2. Add syrup and mix well.
  3. Slowly add the sweetener and mix well.
  4. Continuing mixing two minutes until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour into containers and refrigerate for at least two hours.

With this as a template for your yogurt making, you can feel free to experiment with other flavors as well. Enjoy!

©2011 Off the Grid News

© 2008-2014 Off The Grid News

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