Saturday, May 5, 2012

This is how I make yogurt - for those who have asked for a recipe and procedure


How To Make Yogurt With a Yogurt Maker – Basic Recipe

4 ¾ cups of milk (2% or whole) Less fat may not allow yogurt to feed, you can add sugar but why?)
½ c powdered milk (optional, but it makes it creamier)
Existing yogurt for starter (look for organic with 5 ACTIVE cultures like Stoneyfield)
OR freeze dried yogurt starter
Local honey, stevia or splenda to taste if you want sweeter yogurt
Candy Thermometer
Heavy pot either stainless or anodized aluminum
Whisk

1.  Wash all utensils and hands with hot water and soap.  Take precautions to keep them clean during the process like not putting your hands into the mixture or touching the spoon to your mouth even though you want to taste it!  Get a new clean spoon!

2.  Bring your milk to 180 degrees slowly stirring with whisk to ensure even heating.  Watch carefully, do not allow to boil.  Organic milk is good if you can get it.  Some even use unpasteurized milk since the process of heating it actually does pasteurize it. 

3.  Allow your milk to cool to 110 degrees slowly stirring with whisk to ensure even cooling.  Some people do put their pot into a larger container with ice water, but that may cool it down too fast.  Do it naturally.

4.  At 110 degrees you can add some natural flavorings such as pure vanilla, vanilla bean, vanilla paste, pure almond, lemon, etc extracts, maple syrup or local honey.  I also sometimes add some stevia if I want a sweeter yogurt here, but I do love the tart taste.  It is important to not use anything that says artificial on the box or label.  Well, important for taste, the yogurt will probably be fine if you use it, but do spend the extra few cents for the better ingredients if you are going this far.
5.  Pour into CLEAN cups for your yogurt maker.  I sometimes put it into a large glass bowl and my cups are plastic, so either one is safe.  Check with the book on your yogurt maker.  They offer additional cups for purchase but my 2 qt Pyrex bowl works just fine.  Do not put lids on.  But again, check with your booklet and see if it wants lids on.  Mine does not.


6.  Set for 8-10 hours.  Do not move or open lid, yogurt cultures are sensitive at this point and do not want to be disturbed.  So make sure you put your active maker in a quiet place where it won’t be in the way.




7.  At completion, cover tightly with lids and refrigerate.  This will stop the yogurt cultures.  You can also add some flavors here, but if you want fruits or fruit preserves, they are best added at the time of eating. 

8.  Enjoy it after you have cooled it off.  Add interesting things to it, you can make different yogurt treats every day or even freeze it like ice cream for a summer treat.  You can even use your yogurt in place of sour cream in your recipes.  Or on a potato as a healthy replacement.

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