I have been so intimidated to make my own yogurt! Even after pouring over all the amazing posts over at Kitchen Stewardship telling me how easy making yogurt is, I still dragged my feet. My family eats quite a bit of yogurt each week and we were spending a lot of money on the “good stuff”. Recently, the farm where I get my raw milk started selling yogurt. It’s delicious and it made me want to take the plunge into yogurt-making even more! Last week, using my farm’s yogurt as the starter, I made delicious yogurt of my own without a yogurt maker! It was so incredibly easy! I don’t know what I was so afraid of.
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 quarts to 1 gallon of milk – preferably raw and organic from grass-fed, Jersey cows
1/4-1/2 cup yogurt for starter - store-bought or from a previous batch
2-4 quart jars with lids
Cooler – I use a soft cooler
Towels to wrap jars
To make the yogurt:
1. Attach candy thermometer to pot and immerse in milk. Pour the desired amount of milk into the pot.
2. Slowly heat milk to 180 degrees, stirring occasionally, and hold at 180 for about 2 minutes. It’s ok if it goes a degree or 2 above 180.
3. Turn off heat and let cool down to 118 degrees, stirring occasionally and skimming and “skin” that forms on the top.
4. Whisk the milk into the starter, immediately pour into jars and lid.
5. Wrap the jars with towels, place into cooler, pack cooler with remaining towel(s) to trap in the heat, and leave them undisturbed for 12 hours.
I usually prepare my yogurt in the morning and then at night when I am getting ready for bed I take them out and put them into the refrigerator.
That’s it! It’s so easy and the result is amazingly simple, tangy, creamy yogurt! I love to add some organic, raspberry jam to it. It’s addicting! Knowing that I can make an entire *gallon* of yogurt for the cost of a gallon of raw milk is just icing on the organic cake!
If you want to culture a 24-hour yogurt, you have to add a heat source like a heating pad set on low. If you have a crock pot with a keep warm setting, you could use that as well. I have not tried either of these options yet so I cannot personally vouch for their effectiveness.
Also, you can put the cooler in your oven with the light on overnight to regulate temperature even more. I find the yogurt to be creamier with the oven method.
I would like to experiment with making a truly raw milk yogurt. I have been heating my raw milk and adding the culture after heating but I know that there are ways to keep the milk in its raw state and still make it work.
If you make some of the yogurt in little 4oz mason jars, they make perfect yogurt cups! Great for kids, or on the go!
Always save 1/4 cup of yogurt per quart for the next batch!
I’ll be posting more about this as I continue my experiments. In the meantime, Enjoy!