I am still kind of in shock that my yogurt recipe worked!! I had always heard of people making their own yogurt and never really believed it was doable ( well in an ” I am actually going to eat this” way). The whole process seemed scary, and I was filled with doubt that it would work and be edible. I first tried a recipe a few weeks ago and the result was…ok:/ The yogurt was still a little too runny for my taste. The recipe did not, however, go to waste. I used it in some smoothie recipes and also in a few batches of waffles. After some additional research and tweaking, I can finally say I mastered my yogurt making!!! YAHOO, no more wasted money on expensive, mediocre, yogurt:)
1/2 Gallon Milk ( any kind)
2TBL Vanilla ( if desired)
1/2 cup of maple syrup/ sugar. (If you would like to use honey, I usually just add it to the top of a serving)
4oz yogurt starter or any yogurt that contains live cultures
**Before I start with the directions, can you believe that is all you need?? For the yogurt and milk I think I spent less than $5 and it makes 2 quarts!!**
Heat milk, vanilla and sweetener in a large stock pot over med-med high heat. I insert a candy thermometer and make sure the liquid does not go over 180 degree ( just until small bubbles begin to form). Once it reaches 180 degrees turn off heat and let it cool down to 120degrees ( until you can let your finger sit in it with out burning). I use an ice bath in the sink to speed up the process.
While the pot is cooling make sure you have two 1 quart mason jars, which have been sterilized. Once milk has been successfully cooled, it is time for the starter. In a small bowl combine 1cup of the cooled milk and your yogurt starter. DO NOT STIR, just gently swirl it around until it becomes incorporated. Then add mixture to the stock pot. Again, DO NOT STIR, just swirl.
Just skim those off with a spoon. Then put tops on jars and place them in a small cooler. I put my cooler in my tub. Add hot tap water to the cooler and fill up to the bottom of the lids. Then shut top of cooler and leave them, untouched, for 10-15 hours. Yes, that is right, 10-15 hours! I know it sounds so so scary, but it works. I left mine over night in the tub for 12 hours. I was sure I was going to wake up to some horrible, rancid, spoiled milk!
Once your containers have been stored overnight, move them to the refrigerator to cool. After they have been cooled, eat away! You will be enjoying the creamiest, thickest, yogurt around! I even got Eric to try it. He did not think this process would work. But, to his surprise, he loved it and actually went back for more:) This is a must-have-recipe. And for $5 how can you lose?!