I made homemade yogurt! I really did! And it worked!
Making my own yogurt is something I have been wanting to do ever since I read a post on the blog The Frugal Girl. She made it seem so simple but I just couldn't believe it would be that simple. But I did like the idea of just how inexpensive it was to make, only two main ingredients, the fact that my family is not eating any unnecessary additives, and that it would be environmentally friendly because I would be using reusable glass jars. Even knowing this, I had been putting it off.
Today, I had to take Hamp, my one year old, to the doctor. He is fighting an ear infection that has decided to camp out in his ear--we're on the second round of antibodics! The antibodics are doing a number on his GI track--meaning, we are going through the diapers--and his bottom is feeling the affects. Besides some cream to use on him, the doctor suggested that we try cultured yogurt. So I decided it was time to make some homemade yogurt!
I used the following recipe from The Frugal Girl blog:
1 gallon of milk (I used powdered milk)
1 cup of yogurt starter (I used 8 oz of store bought plain yogurt. I can use a cup from this batch for my next batch though.)
1. Place four quart glass canning jars, four lids and four screw-tops in a large pot. Fill with an inch or more of water and cover with a lid, heat to boiling. Boil for ten minutes. Leave the lid on the pot and move it off the heat until you are ready to use the jars.
2. Pour one gallon of milk into a large, heavy bottoned stockpot or Dutch oven. Heat the milk to 185-195 degrees Farenheit (85-90 degree Celcius). Remember to stir to keep from scalding on the bottom of the pot.
3. Place the pot in a sink filled with cold water and let the milk cool to 120-130 degree Farenheit (50-55 degree Celcius). (Use a candy thermometer to check your temperatures)
4. Stir one cup of yogurt starter into the cooling milk, using a whisk. Stir well to ensure that the starter is thoroughtly incorporated into the milk. If you are wanting vanilla yogurt, this is when you will add 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar and 1-2 tsp of vanilla extract.
5. Pour the milk into jars, and put the lids and the bands on. Place them into a cooler.
6. Heat one gallon of water to 120-130 degrees Farenheit (50-55 degrees Celcius) and pour it into the cooler.
7. Shut cooler lid and leave in a warm place for three hours. When the three hours are up, place the yogurt in the refrigerator.
**This recipe makes 4 quarts and will keep in the fridge for at least a month.
While I was doing some research before I made my yogurt, I found some interesting flavors you can add to your yogurt.
During step #4, you can add not only sugar, but honey, maple syrup, chocolate syrup, malt, molasses or artificial sweetener. Other flavors you could add besides vanilla--lemon, almond, instant coffee, or peppermint.
Another variation is to add 1 tbsp of jam, perserve, and peanut butter into the bottom of 1 cup containers and pour the warm yogurt over. Cover and incubate as usual.
Add fresh, canned, or dried fruit after the yogurt has incubated. The acid content of some fruits can curdle your yogurt and prevent proper fermentation.
I'm just tickled with my new homemade yogurt! I know that I will be making more when we finish this yogurt and hopefully this will help Hamp feel better. Doing the math today, I found that it costs me $0.03/ounce to make my yogurt. Compare that to $0.15 to $0.09/ounce for bought yogurt and you can see the savings.
Don't be shy! Let me know if you have tried making your own yogurt or if you think I'm just crazy!