Yogurt

Please ignore my dirty oven.
Thank-you.

Yogurt
combine in a large bowl
3 cups powdered milk
6 cups very,very hot water (I used the water from tea-ready hot-water spout)

Stir well.  Add 1 2/3 cup of pasteurized milk*

Stir well.

Remove a cup of milk from the bowl and whisk into that cup 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with active cultures.  Whisk until smooth, then return to the large bowl and whisk again.
Pour this into clean jars. Put lids on the jars. Otherwise yogurt can absorb flavors from the oven and surrounding air, and may also gain the wrong sort of microbial action.
 Put in the oven with the pilot light and/or the oven light on and leave there overnight. You may warm the oven ever so slightly (the rack should still be comfortable to touch barehanded), and turn it off before putting the jars in the oven.

Refrigerate in the morning, or after at least six hours.  Makes 2 quarts.

You can set aside half a cup of this to make another batch, and so on for several rounds. Eventually, you’ll need to replace your yogurt starter with some from the store.

*You are supposed to scald the whole milk, and if you use raw milk you should certainly do this.  I used the too hot water for the powdered milk so that the temperature of the whole, pasteurized (store-bought) milk I used would basically equal out to the right temperature without having to mess with heating the milk back up and dirtying an extra pan.

Incidentally, I haven’t made yogurt in a very long time, and I just did this batch a few minutes ago. You should not try this recipe until I report back with the results.=)
It worked!  The only thing I would do differently is put lids on the jars while they ‘yohg.’  It is ever so slightly thinner than storebought yogurt, but it’s still clearly yogurt.  Like most things from scratch, there is a slight flavor and texture difference compared to the storebought version, but I think it’s a bad thing when the storebought version becomes the standard.

Recipe adapted from the More-With-Less Cookbook (World Community Cookbook)

Things to do with yogurt that doesn’t ‘yohg:’

Use it in breads, biscuits, in place of milk in pancakes and other quickbreads.
Dissolve an envelope of gelatin into 1/4 cup very hot water, and stir this into 1 quart of yogurt.  Chill. This should save a liquidy batch of yogurt.
Stir it into your oats.
Make smoothies.

Other methods of incubating: Some people make yogurt in the crockpot. This has never worked for me.
I have wrapped my jars in towels and left them sitting out overnight on a heating pad on low.
You can also fill an ice-chest with warm water and put the sealed jars in the water, put the lid on the ice chest.
You can keep them in a pan of warm water during the day and periodically replace the water with more warm water to maintain the temperature.

I prefer the overnight in the oven method because for me, it requires the least effort, the least extra fuel source and thus least cost to my utility bill,  and the fewest dirty dishes.

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5 Comments

  1. Debs
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
  2. Lesley
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink
  3. Mama Squirrel
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink
  4. Savories of Life
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 5:55 am | Permalink
  5. Posted January 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad I remembered you posted this! It seems like half of my gluten-free recipes call for yogurt, so I’ve been buying it almost by the gallon. That can’t go on for much longer, and in fact stops with our most recent purchase. Thanks!

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