Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yogurt - Whatcha' Cookin' Wednesday

I know that the thought of making yogurt can be daunting. (YOGURT?  Seriously??) Before I get into details, I just want to say:

You can TOTALLY make this deliciousness:


(And brains all over the world exploded into tiny pieces....)

When you discover the ease of this recipe you will hesitate to buy store-bought yogurt again. Once you taste it, you will NEVER buy store-bought yogurt again.

It's that easy. It's that good.

This yogurt is tangy and tasty. It's the consistency of a European-style yogurt (a tad thinner than most store-bought brands) but you can strain it to get a firmer product. 

And then there's the savings: 32 oz. of organic, plain yogurt typically runs about $7. (+ tax) in the local mart.  Since it's a big part of our diet we were spending about $30./month for yogurt. We use it as a fat in baking, we stir it into applesauce, use a dollop in smoothies and much more. Now I spend about $3./week or $12./month.That's a savings of nearly $220./year! ON YOGURT.

Besides, it's kind of fun to tell folks, "Yeah, I make my own yogurt."  

(You don't have to tell them how easy it is.)


yields 1 quart (2 pints)

Here's what you need:

-1 quart of milk (cow, raw or pasteurized)

-2 tsp of LIVE yogurt or yogurt starter (yes, it takes a little yogurt to make yogurt the first time you do it...)

-kitchen thermometer (I got mine at Target for about $10.  It allows me to set a timer for when the milk reaches a certain temp.  Neat.)

Here's how you do it:

Turn on oven light and preheat for at least 20 minutes. (Some ovens have a bread proofing setting which is approx. 100°F, you can use that instead.)

In a stockpot, heat milk gently on medium heat, stirring approximately every 10 minutes, until milk is close to a boil – about 180°F. If a skin forms, remove it.

Cover, remove from burner, and allow to cool until the yogurt is comfortable to the touch, 90-110°F.(You can use an ice bath to cool it quickly, but keep an eye on it. Do not let the temp get below 90°.)

Remove one cup of warmed milk and add yogurt starter (live yogurt) to it. Whisk gently, then add milk and starter back into pot.

Pour milk into glass container. (I use a Pyrex bowl with a plastic lid or sometimes quart-sized or pint-sized Mason jars with lids and seals.) Cover.

Place jars/bowl in warmed oven and leave for 12 hours. ***Be sure that the oven light is on for at least 20 minutes PRIOR to placing yogurt in oven in order to achieve 100°F inside the oven.***

After 12 hours, remove yogurt from oven and whisk gently to desired, creamy consistency. Chill 4-6 hours for additional firmness. For extra firm yogurt strain through a *very* fine mesh strainer (also called a chinois strainer) or through several layers of cheesecloth or even a t-shirt. 

Finished yogurt will keep for 1-2 weeks in refrigerator.

Quick tip: You can use your own yogurt as a starter the next time you make this recipe!  Bonus!

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