Now the starter. You can buy yogurt cultures from most places that sell cheese making supplies. One on line source is Lehmans.com I have never used purchased cultures. I make yogurt with my favorite store bought yogurt, or with yogurt I've made myself. It is vital that this be all-natural yogurt with live cultures and NO thickeners like gelatin. You can use store bought Greek yogurt if you like.
Pour the milk into a medium sized saucepan. Over medium high heat, bring it to 100 degrees F. If you don't have a cooking thermometer, this is about as warm as you make a baby's bottle. Temperature is important - if it is not warm enough, it won't work; if it is too hot, it will kill the cultures.
Once it is the right temperature, stir in the yogurt, combining thoroughly.
Now you have to keep the mixture warm for at least 8 hours. In hot summer weather, just put it somewhere where it won't be disturbed. Temperatures in the 80's will be good, in the 90's perfect. In cooler weather, try the top of your refrigerator or hot water heater, or inside an oven with a pilot light. I have heard that some people have success by wrapping the container in some kitchen towels and putting it on top of a heating pad on the lowest setting, with a few layers of towel between the pad and the bowl.
Put the warm milk and yogurt in a very clean container with a lid. Wrap it is a kitchen towel to keep as much warmth in as you can. Put it in your chosen spot. Leave it without disturbing at all (don't peek!) for at least 8 hours. After 8 hours, check and see how thick it is.
Now to make Greek yogurt or yo-cheese: they do make special strainers for doing this. I have two, and they work really well. Mine look just like the little baskets used as strainers in coffee makers. If you don't have any, use cheesecloth. You can try lining a colander with a few layers of it. Put your yogurt in this, put the colander in a bowl to catch the liquid, cover the yogurt, and let it drain until it is as thick as you want, 1/2 hour or more. You can also line a bowl with the cheesecloth, put the yogurt in, draw up the edges of the cheesecloth, tie it up like a money bag, and hang it over the bowl.
For Greek yogurt, check the thickness after 1/2 hour.
For yo-cheese, you will have to let it drain for several hours until the yogurt is very thick, like cream cheese. It will taste very similar to cream cheese, and can be used very effectively in place of cream cheese. Or try mixing in a little garlic and/or onion powder and some herbs. Oh so good! In the Middle East, when they have yo-cheese that is getting a bit old and dry, they roll it into small balls, like a large olive, then put it in some olive oil that has been flavored with garlic and herbs. This freshens it beautifully. Take the cheese balls out of the oil, drain well, and serve with crackers or veggies.
All yogurt and yo-cheese has to be refrigerated after it is done.
As a thrifty benefit, take all the whey you have drained off of your yogurt and use it to make bread. It makes a delicious, slightly sour loaf. Try toasting it and spreading it with yo-cheese!
Source: A life time of making yogurt.
By Copasetic 1 from North Royalton, OH
By paramjeet from Mohali
I saw the tip about buying the cheaper plain yoghurt and flavouring it with your favourite tasty sweet flavouring. Great tip, but do you realise that out of one small tub of plain yoghurt is the making of much more yoghurt?
I have two recipes for making yoghurt. I've tried and tested one of them and make it all the time, but have heard that the other is just as easy so I'll include both recipes, especially since the 2nd recipe is in US measurements...
The first recipe I have left in metric as I found it too hard to convert. I thought that since we have quite a few members from Europe and Australia, I'd leave the first recipe unconverted.
All you need is a 200g (just over 7 oz)tub of plain yoghurt. I buy the low fat ones. This one tub will make several containers of yoghurt, but will keep in the fridge until used again.
The reason I say this is almost from scratch is because you need a starter culture (that's why you need the bought yoghurt).
You can do it in the following ratios:
My children don't like plain yoghurt so I flavour mine with powdered sweetener, like the sachets you get from the health food store. I don't like artificial sweeteners so I haven't tried those, but remember if you use a liquid sweetener, it will make the yoghurt thinner.
p.s. On the top of my computer I have a special flat top that is specially made for the top of my monitor. It allows me to put things on top of my monitor. But it also stays really warm when the computer is on, and this is a fantastic, draft-free, warm area for my yoghurt container. This is also where I let my bread dough rise when my bread machine died. I wrap my 2 litre container with a warm towel (warmed in the dryer) and leave it on top of the computer to "do it's thing". And if the kids don't beat me to it, I actually get to eat some too!
Preheat a heatproof dish and a well fitting lid, or thermos flask with boiling water.
Heat milk to blood heat 37C/ 98F.
Put yoghurt into a basin, add a little of the warm milk, stir well and then pour the yoghurt into the pan of milk.
Stir well, then pour into the warmed dish and cover with the lid.
Cover the container with a thick cloth and leave in a warm place, such as an airing cupboard, overnight, until the milk clots.
If a thermos flask is used you do not need a warm place!
Remember, this second recipe I haven't tried yet but I have heard it was very successful.
Not so long ago I bought a small tub of yoghurt for 79c Australian... about 61c US. Out of that I will probably get about 6 litres of Yoghurt.
I have never used fresh milk in my yogurt... only powdered milk made up.
I still follow the instructions to sprinkle the small amount of powdered milk into the made up milk, but at 47c per litre using powdered milk it makes it a very frugal recipe for yoghurt.
I know the thermometre is quite expensive, but since you will be able to use it to make candy, it's a good investment. Remember, when making yoghurt if you put the starter culture in before the milk has cooled to the proper temperature, it will kill the process and the same goes if you have let it cool too much. Too cold, and it won't grow either.
Fill a clean one quart container (I use the large yogurt containers) with 2 cups water. Stir in the plain yogurt, then stir in the cream, then the powdered milk. Then add the rest of the water. Stir once more.
I then place the container in a large (popcorn) bowl lined with an old electric heating pad. I turn the heating pad to low. I cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let it sit there for about 12-14 hrs (depends how firm you like your yogurt). Then remove the container from the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hrs before serving.
To serve, stir yogurt to make sure it mixes well. Then you can add sugar, splenda, flavoring (lemon, strawberry, vanilla extract, etc.) and food coloring to make it look like store bought yogurt.
This is so rich and creamy I can only eat about a half a cup at a time. It is very, very good though. You can use this recipe of plain yogurt as a starter for the next batch so you never again have to buy store bought yogurt.
It really is so easy.
Also if you do not have powdered milk then add 4 cups milk and 5 tablespons of yogurt. It will not come out as thick but still is a delish and simple yogurt.
By Denise from Bristol, Quebec
When I get near the bottom of my container of plain regular or Greek yogurt, I add milk, stir, place covered in hot water, and let the milk develop for a few hours into a new container of yogurt. Chill. This is not a science with me, but there are optimal temperatures, if you look online. I'm not picky about the consistency and quality of the yogurt, so you can experiment to suit yourself.
By mary knight
I have just started making my own yogurt and have been looking at different recipes and was wondering why you put in powdered milk? Does it make it creamier or set better or something else? Thanks.
Hi Kerry - I've never heard of adding powdered milk to home-made yogurt. I haven't made some for a while now, but it was so very simple. If I didn't have any yogurt on hand, I would start with heating milk (I always used 2%) and adding the contents of one or two acidophilus capsules. Stir well, cover (with plastic wrap or such) and put in oven with pilot lite on, leave overnight.
In the morning, it was solidified and delicious! If I saved some of the yogurt from the last batch, just stir that into the warmed milk -let set same as before. I used to do like a half-gallon at a time in a big glass mixing bowl.
With electric ovens, I think you could do as with yeast doughs--that is, pre-heat the oven a bit then turn off and put yogurt mix into oven. Do not open door before morning. In most cases, should be enough warmth to do the job. I've heard some people using heating pads - haven't tried that at all m'self.
I did try those commercial yogurt makers, the ones with 4 or 5 small cups. I preferred the big batch for my own use--it was less time-consuming, less costly, and I had more on hand for various uses at any one time.
Don't know what recipe(s) you're using--but you know that after you've got the basic yogurt you can add any fruits and/or sweeteners you want. So much cooking can be done with yogurt as well.
Hope this helps - I know I've gone way beyond the why-add-powdered-milk question! One of my problems with powdered milk for anything I used to use it for is that now-a-days it's more expensive than regular liquid milk! Good luck with your own homemade yogurt.
I have a yogurt maker but have lost the recipe. Does anyone have the plain yogurt recipe they will share with me?
Check out this link.
Would anyone have a recipe for homemade yogurt made with skim milk powder, Knox plain gelatin, and water? It is then left overnight in an oven that has been preheated to 200 and then turned off.
I used to make it, but lost the recipe so I don't know what quantities I need.
By Katie from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada
Thanks to all who posted their recipes. I had not heard of some of them but I appreciate the time you took to answer. God Bless you all. Katie Genereux Sault Ste Marie Ontario Canada
Twice now I have made flavoured yoghurt and it has gone like slimy and one plain didn't set after leaving it all night. Please help.
By Eileen from Qld, Miles
You need to be careful that your milk is not TOO hot or too cool when you add your starter. This has a effect on how your yogurt will set up. The longer you leave it in the yogurt maker the more tart it will be come. I usually take my jars of yogurt out of the machine after 10 hours. Jeannette W. Palm Beach, FL
I make my yogurt in the crock pot and heat on low, but it is so hot. I turn it off after that. I let it set, but it is still watery. Should I turn it off?
By Jess from Malaysia
Hello this is Hawaii. I forgot to mention that I drain the yogurt in the refrigerator, until I get the Greek yogurt consistency.
Yogurt takes a little bit of time to make. Not actual "working on it" time but time for it to sit and culture. Yogurt is a cultured product, much like cheese. It is a very easy and economical to make.
Before you begin there are a few things to make sure you have on hand and a few things to know and understand about the process. Most of what you need you will be able to find in the grocery store.
You need to begin with "starter yogurt". Starter yogurt is yogurt that has been made with active live cultures; this is the friendly bacteria that will turn your milk into yogurt. You can buy a small container of yogurt at the grocery to use for this purpose. Make sure that the container says "Made with live cultures" or something of this nature. You want to buy plain yogurt, not flavored. Each time you make yogurt you will need some starter. You can use your own starter, but over time it looses its potency and your yogurt will not turn out. So I always begin with store bought yogurt. You can freeze your starter yogurt in ice cube trays so that it is convenient to have on hand.
As far as tools for making yogurt go, you will need a thermometer. A candy thermometer bought from the grocery store will work just fine. You will need a large pot to heat up your milk and then something to incubate your yogurt for about 12 hours. The temperature of the yogurt must stay between 90 and 110 degrees during this incubation time.
There are a variety of ways of maintaining this temperature. If you have a gas stove, putting your yogurt in the stove and leaving the pilot light on may be enough. Make sure you have a thermometer in the oven so you can keep an eye on the temperatures. If you have a stove that you can set at around 100 degrees, this works also. Another method that works is to use a small styrofoam ice chest. While you are making the yogurt fill up the ice chest with hot tap water. Right before you set the jars in the ice chest empty the water, place filled jars in the ice chest, and fill with 110 degree water up to the bottom edge of the lids. Put the cover on and place a blanket over this. After about 4 hours check to make sure the water is still the right temperature (between 90-110 degrees). If the water is cooling down, dump half of it out and replace with 110 degree water and cover again. Check every 1 &frac; hours or so to make sure the water is staying warm. If the temperature of your yogurt gets to high or to low then it will kill the culture. So it is important that during the incubation period that your temperature stays between 90 and 110 degrees.
Here is my easy and tasty homemade yogurt recipe
Before you begin wash 2 - quart sized canning jars. If you want to use 4- pint sized jars instead that would be fine too. Have the metal rings and lids ready to cover the jars when you are done.
Pour your milk into a large cooking pot. Heat the milk up to 185 degrees. Allow the milk to cool down to 110 degrees. The cooling can take a long time. If you want to speed the process up fill your sink with cold water and place the pot of hot milk in the water and stir and stir. The temperature drops fairly quickly this way, so make sure to have your thermometer handy to keep checking.
After you reach 110 degrees add the remaining ingredients and stir until everything is dissolved very well. Pour this mixture into your ready and waiting jars. Put the lids on and put them into what ever place you are planning to incubate and culture them. Leave them there for 10 to 12 hours. Try not to disturb the jars to much. When the yogurt is firm it is time to remove them and put them in the refrigerator to get nice and cold. Usually 12 to 24 hours. If you make and incubate the yogurt during the day it can refrigerate overnight and be ready for breakfast the next day.
If you would like flavored yogurt you add fresh cut up fruit or a little bit of flavored jam when you are serving your yogurt.
About the author: Crystal Miller is a mother of 8 children and enjoys her God given role as wife, homemaker and mother! She has a homemaking and country living web site called The Family Homestead http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com and has a free monthly newsletter called Homestead Happenings. You will find sign up information on her website. Copyright: Crystal Miller, 2004
I lost my recipes in a move! I am looking for homemade yogurt recipes.
Thanks in advance!
Does anyone know how to make homemade yogurt. I was told it was easy and cheap. With a family of 8 we go through a lot of yogurt.
Debbi from Brownstown MI
You will never have the thick creamy kind they sell in the store (because they add thickeners) To get the thickest yogurt, you will need to use WHOLE MILK. (not skim or 2%!) If your yogurt is not as thick as you'd like, use it for smoothies, or for the Indian recipe below.
As an option you can add powdered milk to your recipe. The good bacteria like the natural milk sugar in the powered milk & this makes them culture better & faster, PLUS the powdered milk can help to naturally thicken the yogurt.
If you don't have a "yogurt maker" to keep the yogurt temperature just right. After mixing the milk with the culture, put the mixture on top of your water heater. This is just the right temperature for the culture to "grow" & turn the milk to yogurt.
IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE ALL utensils, pans, lids & containers are CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. In fact, they should be sterilized by putting them through the dishwasher & using HOT water to wash them with, You want to grow GOOD bacteria, NOT bad bacteria! Never use plastic. Only use stainless steel, glass or ceramic when making yogurt. AFTER the yogurt is done BEING cultured & it's going into the fridge, THEN & only then CAN you use plastic to store it in.
---------> RECIPES <---------
Take mango puree (available at East Indian specialty stores) or Take a bag of frozen or a fresh mango, peal, remove seed & blend mango in a blender until smooth. You can also add a bit of honey or sugar if you like (about half to one teaspoon)
Mix equal portions of mango puree & home made yogurt together & pour over ICE in a tall clear glass with straw.
This is just the tastiest drink you will ever have! They serve it in Indian Restaurants in Seattle. and we JUST LOVE IT!
*** another option: instead of using mango puree, use frozen concentrated orange juice. Or even better, use pineapple, orange, papaya, or any another frozen blend. Add frozen concentrate to yogurt, & you will need no sugar. YUMMY! * you can also add a bit of real vanilla to any of these yogurt recipes
SWEET CINNAMON SPICE YOGURT
This is a way to sweeten any plain yogurt without using sugar or honey:
Simply add to taste a bit of cinnamon & a handful of raisons to plain yogurt. Let sit overnight in the fridge until the raisins plump up. Stir well & eat. You may need to add a bit more plain yogurt if it's to sweet or more raising & wait longer of it's not sweet enough once you get the recipe right, it's SIMPLY HEAVEN! .... AND no sugar!!! (01/31/2007)
HOMEMADE YOGURT (Plain, yet UTTERLY delicious)
Yield: 1 quart
Preheat your oven to 275°F. Sprinkle gelatin over the cold water and heat to dissolve (see tips at end of post). Meanwhile, in a wide-mouth mason jar, combine the remaining ingredients (except water) with an immersion blender (right in the jar) pulse to smooth slurry. Add the reserved gelatin and water, until jar is full. Cover the jar with lid and ring; lightly shake. Turn OVEN OFF, with oven light; culture yogurt in the oven, covering with a tea towel (up to 8-10 hours, or culture overnight). Chill.
Per Serving: 57 Calories; 2g Fat (32.0% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 9mg Cholesterol; 60mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
Tips & Techniques
Dissolving Gelatin: Sprinkle over 1/4 cup COLD water, in a small heatproof bowl (don't stir or it will clump). Let it soften for 3 minutes (aka: Bloom & Dissolve). MICROWAVE uncovered at 100% power (for 10 seconds, at a time) watch so it doesn't boil, discarding if it does (warming a total 30-45 seconds).
Mason Jar: An immersion blender fits nicely through a wide-mouth jar. For a narrow-mouth jar, use a hand mixer, fitted with just one beater.
Yogurt Start: Begin with a commercial yogurt for the "initial" start, there after you can use a reserved amount of the FRESH YOGURT recipe (best if replenished within 2 weeks).
Creamier Yogurt: This is a spoon-able style yogurt. For a creamier yogurt, use 1/4 tsp less gelatin next time.
Sweetener: Add 1 Tbsp corn syrup (I add 1 tsp Splenda instead, but you could try Stevia®).
Vanilla Extract: If you'd like a vanilla flavoring, add 1 tsp. Vanilla. (Cooks brand has pure extract vanilla powdered, which won't darken the yogurt).
Culturing: I culture overnight, setting the timer and posting a note to REMIND myself! You can culture easily for 10-12 hours, without any danger of spoiling (the lactic acid attacks the perishable protein during fermentation) yet a distinct possibility beyond (02/02/2007)
If you go through a lot of yogurt, then you would know that buying it on sale and in bulk is good, there usually is a good few weeks on the exp. date on yogurts, go further back in the case and you'll usually find even longer dates. AND you can buy plain or vanilla and throw in your own jams and such. I remember not really liking the taste of plain yogurt when growing up, but nothing tasted better than yogurt with honey drizzled over it, the honey would sort firm up, it was awesome!
Either or, good for you for eating it, that's good stuff for you! As long as you are getting the lower sugar ones, I looked at a small 6 oz. Yoplait last night, 27 grams of sugar! (02/02/2007)
Pour 2 cups of water into a blender container, and spin the yogurt until dissolved. add in powdered milk until completely blended. Fill with remaining water, and blend it around for a few seconds Pour into 2 or 3 canning jars with lids and set in a warm place for 12 to 15 hours. I use a heating pad with a plastic cooler bag over the top of the jars, overnight. Refrigerate, until chilled before serving. (02/02/2007)
Mix sugar with a little hot water to dissolve, then top up to 1 liter with cold water, add milk powder and whisk to blend. Gently stir in yogurt and incubate. Time for this will vary - it takes 6 hours in my electric yogurt maker but can take up to 12 hours in the hot water cupboard. Refrigerate when yogurt is set (tip the container slightly and it will jiggle rather than pour)
I use an electric yogurt maker, but putting it in a warm place undisturbed (hot water cupboard, oven, warmed cooler chest) works well too. This makes thick, yummy yogurt that's not too sweet. If you want it even thicker, replace some non-fat milk powder with full fat milk powder, or simply add more than 1 cup of non-fat powder. You can use honey to sweeten or sweetener, or add vanilla. My children don't like the fruit in bought yogurt, but are happy to eat large quantities of this, particularly when it's mixed with a few tsp of lemon honey (also called lemon curd or lemon cheese).
Reserve half a cup of yogurt for your next batch, or you can freeze commercial yogurt into ice cubes and use two cubes per batch.
Tips for the beginner; if your yogurt fails to set, you can add more 'starter' to it and try again, if it gets a thick gritty layer on the top or the bottom, it has had too much heat and has curdled. It tastes okay but the texture is peculiar, although it's fine for baking with.(b)(/b) (02/04/2007)
By Kate, NZ
Is there a simple recipe for making real yogurt?
Mary from Minot
You need to start with a brand of yogurt that you like. You need one tablespoon of PLAIN unflavored yogurt. The finished product will taste like the one you are starting with.
If you add more than 1 tablespoon to the milk, it will thicken faster, but you don't really need to. Experiment.
Add fruit and sweetener if you like, or you can add a spoon full of fruit jam to 6 oz. for a sweet snack if you like it.
Some commercial yogurts are more tangy than others so pick the one you like the best before you make your own! (04/09/2008)
By Deborah W
I would like to know how to make my own yogurt.
Linda from Stony Creek, NY
By Karen L.
Easy, easy - I've been doing this for years. This takes two quart-sized yogurt containers, and some plain yogurt - just about 1/2 cup - this is your starter. Make sure it mentions live and active cultures on the label.
Slowly take 2 quarts of milk to just the boiling point. Take off the burner, let cool until it's just cool enough to stick your finger in without burning it. Divide the "starter" yogurt up in the 2 containers, and pour in the milk, dividing equally.
Place the containers, carefully, in a small cooler with hot water up to about 2 inches from the rims. Again, just cool enough to put your finger in without burning it. Be careful not to splash the water into the yogurt, and don't place lids on the containers. Close the lid on the cooler and don't peek or move it for 8-10 hours. Lift out, dry off, snap on lids and refrigerate! That's it! Then, eat all but 1/2 cup, and you can make your next batch. You've got your own starter. (08/18/2008)
Creamiest Homemade Yogurt Ingredients:
Fill a clean one quart container (I use the large yogurt containers) with 2 cups water. Stir in the plain yogurt, (then stir in the cream), then the powdered milk. Then add the rest of the water. Stir once more.
I then place the container in a large (popcorn) bowl lined with an old electric heating pad. I turn the heating pad to low. I cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let it sit there for about 12 - 14 hrs (depends how firm you like your yogurt). Then remove the container from the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hrs before serving.
To serve, stir yogurt to make sure it mixes well. Then you can add sugar, Splenda, flavoring (lemon, strawberry, vanilla extract, etc.) and food coloring to make it look like store bought yogurt. This is so rich and creamy I can only eat about a half a cup at a time. It is very, very good though.
You can use this recipe of plain yogurt as a starter for the next batch so you never again have to buy store bought yogurt. (08/18/2008)
"Yogurt is a tangy, nutritionally excellent dairy product that can be made at home. The milk used contains a higher concentration of solids than normal milk.
Does anyone have a recipe for making yogurt in a crock-pot?
It is not hard to make your own yogurt. The most critical tool you need that you may not have would be either an instant read or a candy thermometer.
Make your own yogurt by boiling 1/2 gallon of milk and let it sit in a cool place until lukewarm. Add 1 Tbsp. plain yogurt you might have in the fridge.