Yogurt: Easy and Rewarding

It is time to make yogurt! Let's start by heating up the milk.

 It turns out that yogurt is extremely easy to make and well worth the effort. This is how I’ve been doing it:
  1. Sterilize 2 quarts of milk (even if your milk has been pasturized) by heating it in a pot until it reaches 180-185F degrees on the candy thermometer (almost to boiling) . TIP- heat slowly and stir often to prevent scorching (preferably with a metal spoon).
  2. Remove from heat and let cool until it reaches about 110F degrees.
  3. Add your “starter”. If this is your first batch of yogurt you can buy store bought yogurt that has active cultures or your can buy freeze-dried bacteria cultures online or from a specialty store. In the future just save some of your own yogurt for a starter. I use 5 tablespoons of yogurt as a starter for this recipe and I let it sit out while I’m doing step 1 and 2.
  4. Time to incubate. Pour milk into container and cover tightly. Keep yogurt warm (between 105F and 122F) so the bacteria can do their thing. There are various methods to keep the yogurt at the right tempurature, but I recommend buying a Yogotherm because it is so darn convenient. They are made in Canada and you can order them online. Just pour the milk in, close the lid, and let it sit 5-15 hours. The longer you let it incubate, the thicker and tangier it will get.
  5. Refrigerate. Don’t forget to set aside a little yogurt starter for your next batch!

ABOUT THE MILK: We buy whole milk that comes from a dairy in Spokane, called Spokane’s Family Farm. We skim the cream off the top of the jug once it separates and use it to make butter, whipped cream, etc. This makes our yogurt a bit lower fat. Once I forgot to skim the cream off the milk and it formed a cream top on the yogurt, so that’s always an option.

To make yogurt parfaits just alternate layers of yogurt, jam, granola, and fruit. Top it with drizzled honey for added sweetness.

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