I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was starting to make Abbie’s yogurt, and I think I’ve finally got it down. It’s SO much easier than I thought it would be, and really doesn’t require extra equipment (although it definitely makes it easier). I looked up a few recipes, and Rychelle from Foltz Family Life sent me one too. I ended up doing a combination of the recipes I found. Here’s my recipe:
- 6 Qt. Pot
- Candy/Deep Fry Thermometer
- Measuring Cup
- Yogurt Strainer or cheesecloth and mesh sieve
- 1/2 gallon of your milk of choice (for Abbie, I use whole, for mine, skim)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (any fat percentage, but I usually use the same as what I’m making)
- Fit the thermometer onto the pot and pour the milk in.
- Heat the milk to 180 degrees, stirring frequently. (Stirring is pretty crucial – if you don’t stir, the bottom will scald and you’ll end up scrubbing the pot for a while.)
- Once the milk hits 180 degrees, turn off the heat and let the milk cool to between 110 and 115 degrees. Stir occasionally. You can wait it out, or set the pot in a bowl of ice to help it cool faster.
- In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt and some of the milk. This thins down the yogurt and makes it easier to stir into the rest of the milk.
- Pour the mixture into the rest of the milk and mix well.
- Place the pot in a warm place and let it sit undisturbed for 8-12 hours. I usually turn the oven on the lowest setting, turn it off, then put in the pot. Sometimes I turn the oven light on to keep it a little warmer, but it really isn’t necessary.
- After 8-12 hours – you have yogurt! You may also have some whey floating on top. You can toss this, or if you’re ambitious, use it in bread dough.
- If you like regular yogurt, you’re done, but if you like Greek yogurt, you’ll need to strain it. I use this strainer from EuroCuisine. You can use a mesh sieve and cheesecloth, but it’s messier. Strain it for 3-12 hours, depending on how think you want it. Once you strain it, you’ll have really thick yogurt and a lot of whey. If you let it strain too long and it’s thicker than you want it, mix some whey back in – it helps thin it back out to the consistency you’re looking for.
- Refrigerate and use as you would store-bought yogurt!
Now that I know how to do it and it’s so easy, I’m kind of addicted to making yogurt. Plus, its’ saving us so much money. At Wegmans, a gallon of milk is about $3, depending on the fat content. For a 17 ounce container of Fage, I pay about $3.30…and from 1/2 gallon of milk, I can get about 32 ounces of Greek yogurt…That means I’m paying about 1/4 of the price!
It really is this easy – let me know if you have questions about the process!