Grit Blogs > Sassy and Sweet - Life on the Farm

Homemade Yogurt: Easier Than I Thought!

A photo of Anna WightI *love* yogurt. Plain yogurt with a splash of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon and maybe some nutmeg. Yummm! But GOOD yogurt is expensive. And, I like "good" yogurt. So in an attempt to save money and learn a new skill, I figured it was about time I learned how to make it at home using supplies I have on hand. I did some digging around online and found several sources that helped me come up with my current "experiment". I've added links I found helpful at the bottom of this post if you're interested in them.

I gathered up all of the ingredients, sterilized several quart jars, set out my enameled cast iron dutch oven, the canning kettle, several towels, a thermometer, and a heating pad (one that doesn't have auto-shutoff). To the dutch oven I added a half gallon of 2% organic milk and 1 cup of powdered milk, and heated the mixture on the stove top to 170*. I added a bit of honey and vanilla, and let it cool to 115*. Once at 115*, I added about a 1/3 cup (I probably should have added 1/4 cup more...) of Fage 0% Greek yogurt for the "starter".

AnnaWightYOGURT3158web600 


Once the starter yogurt was stirred in, I ladled the mixture into the sterile jars, and set them into the canning kettle which INSTEAD OF WATER had the warm heating pad in the center.
 

AnnaWightYOGURT3154web600 


I covered the jars and heating pad loosely with towels, inserted a thermometer, and watched. The heating pad did a GREAT job of keeping the heat in the canning kettle very consistent! By morning, I hoped to have some tasty homemade yogurt to enjoy.

AnnaWightYOGURT3163web600 


Morning rolled around, and I was pleased with the progress in the jars. The thermometer was still at an ideal temp, and the milk had taken on a a wonderful creamy yogurt texture that I couldn't wait to try! I popped the jars into the refrigerator to cool, and went about my morning routine.

AnnaWightYOGURT3164web600 


Lunch seemed like the perfect time to try the yogurt. Wow, was it ever good! Very creamy, silk-like texture that was perfect straight out of the jar! I'm convinced, this is a recipe I will be making again and again! Deeee-lish!

Do you make your own homemade yogurt? I'd love to hear how you do it!

 Links to check out:
(I have no affiliations with the authors of the information shared in these links, I just found them helpful)
1. Good Eats Video: Good Milk Gone Bad 
He only heats the milk/powdered milk mixture to 120*, then lets it cool to 115*. I will try this next time. That would take a lot less time.
2. YankeePrepper YouTube Video: How to Make Your Own Yogurt
3. Nourished Kitchen: Homemade Yogurt 

 As always, you are invited to read more about our life on the farm.
AnnaWightTINYTIMsiggyWEB150 

 

eloise
3/12/2011 6:26:13 PM

Try Crockpot Yogurt. Couldn't be easier or better: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html Drain the finished yogurt to make affordable "Greek" yogurt. Yummy!


ecoteri
3/11/2011 7:57:52 PM

We have been making both Yogurt and Sour Cream with quart jars and an Excalabur food dehydrator. The joy of this system is multiple, greatest to me is that WE DON'T PRE-HEAT the milk or cream. In addition, there are no additions - no extra skim milk powder. We usually do both Sour Cream and Yogurt at the same time. Yogurt is made with either the 1% milk I usually have on hand (along with a hefty glug of whipping cream if we have it = which we do if we are also making sour cream or krema). Sour cream uses full whipping cream. Process? put some yogurt starter (bought yogurt with live culture) in the bottom of a quart jar. Pour in milk and cream. Put on a lid and screw top, shake for a bit, and place in the dehydrator at the lowest setting. For Sour Cream, the starter is a bit of buttermilk - once you have made some, just use some leftover sour cream for starter for the next set. we use about 1/4 cup or more of yogurt, and about the same of buttermilk or sour cream, to a quart jar. heat for overnight, then put in fridge to set longer. you get to play - how long works for you AND, if you make yogurt extra creamy and set it extra long, once it is cool you can pour into a collader lined with a very fine dishcloth - the whey drips off and you get Labneh, a yogurt cheese like cream cheese but a bit more tart. EASY PEASY


ann keehbauch loud
3/11/2011 12:57:43 PM

I make yogurt a half-gallon to a gallon at a time in a stainless steel pot with a lid by slowly heating it to the boiling point then the turning it off and letting it cool to 115 degrees. I add the starter, 1/4 c. organic store-bought or 2 cubes defrosted from the previous batch that I had made and frozen in icecube trays. (Great for starter and smoothies!) I then wrap the whole pot in a large thick towel and let it sit for at least six hours or overnight. No water, no jars, easy! I learned how to make it this was from my Turkish neighbors who have had the same culture going for years.


melissa maine
3/11/2011 9:35:56 AM

I have made homemade yogurt before and its great!!!I did use the water and igloo cooler method!! But I might try your method next. I have a heating pad and a canner which I can put all that lovely creaminess inside of.. and the plus I do not have to boil water to get it super hot to heat the cooler!!!


indiana gal
3/7/2011 8:44:20 AM

I never thought I'd be making yogurt, but I make it now at least weekly. At first, I made it using an open electric skillet. I put water in the skillet and used a thermometer and trial and error to find the setting to get the water to the right temperature, then put the milk and starter mixture in a covered bowl in the warm water and let it sit. It worked well. However, since I make it so often, I bought a simple yogurt maker that automatically keeps the water at the right temperature. Here are few things I've learned: 1. I make the yogurt primarily for specific dietary reasons. The milk has to be raised to 180 degrees to make the yogurt fit this diet. 2. You have to let it cool to the right temperature (I do 110 degrees) before adding a starter. Otherwise the starter is killed. It's OK to let it cool to below this temperature. 3. Dannon's Plain Yogurt works as a good starter - it is just milk and cultures. 4. Using skim milk makes the yogurt more tart. 5. The diet I work with requires the yogurt to sit 24 hours. Allowing it to sit for 36 hours in the yogurt maker makes the yogurt less tart. 6. Yogurt made this way is less expensive than purchased yogurt. I am recouping the cost of the yogurt maker rapidly. 7. I make homemade jam (just cook down fruit and honey), and adding it to the prepared yogurt makes the yogurt into a real treat.


nebraska dave
3/2/2011 8:06:31 PM

@Anna, the yogurt sure looks yummy. I'm not quite bold enough to try making my own just yet. I think I tried making it once a couple decades ago and it turned out yucky. I'm not sure what went wrong but I haven't tried since. Maybe I'll give it another try next winter when there's a slow down in the garden duties. Right now I'm in a race with spring to get my food storage area finished. I have most of the insulating done and one wall drywalled. Tomorrow I tackle the ceiling. Have a great yogurt day.