March 25, 2011

As promised ~ Yogurt

Now that you have used the cream for some yummy butter, what do you do with the rest of the milk? You can drink it or make something else yummy. I chose to make yogurt with the rest of these two gallons + a little more. I wanted a full gallon of milk to start with. 
 Yogurt can be made with the whole milk also. I just feel like I get more bang for my buck if I can make more with the gallon. 

First step: Pour 1 gallon of raw milk in a large pan, at least a 6 quart
Next: Slowly heat that milk until it is 180*F . No need for a double boiler unless you have a tendency to walk away and forget about your cooking until you hear the smoke alarm!! Yes, been there and done that!

The milk will start bubbling around the edges. 

Then it will develop a thin skin on top. You are getting close now. 

 Stick a candy thermometer in and check to make sure you are at or near 180*F

Next step: Remove from heat and let cool until 110*F 
This takes quite some time if you just set it in a cool place. If you are in a hurry, you could always put the pan in a larger pan of cool water. 

Next: After the milk has cooled to 110*F, add 1 pint of plain yogurt as your starter. I generally save a pint from my last batch of yogurt. You could also buy some plain yogurt. Brand doesn't really matter. I always buy something organic and full fat. Greek yogurt works too and gives a tangier outcome. Every 6 batches or so, you will probably need to buy a fresh starter.

Almost done: After you gently stir in the yogurt starter, fill some jars with this "plain yogurt".  Then you can add some flavoring to the rest of the pot, if you like. I usually add some organic vanilla at this point. You don't have to. We just like it this way!!
You won't be sealing your jars, so it doesn't matter what you put it in. You could use plastic containers, too. Just stick it in something that you can put a lid on.

Final Step: Now you need to let all the good cultures multiply and develop. 
I use my dehydrator. I feel it is the easiest way to make a large quantity at one time. 
You could also use a yogurt maker, a thermos, an oven, a cooler with a pan of hot water in it. Whatever method you choose, just make sure you don't have to move your yogurt and it can keep a consistent temperature. 

The dehydrator is set at 110*F and 7 hours. 
You will get a feel for how long it takes with the method you choose. It will be between 6 and 8 hours. 

After "incubating" the yogurt, refrigerate. 

We use the plain yogurt as sour cream, as a substitute for oil in baked goods, and we always keep a pint as the starter for the next batch of yogurt. 
Plain yogurt drained in a cheesecloth is basically cream cheese! 

So, wasn't this just super simple?

I would suggest making yogurt in the morning, incubating it in the afternoon and then refrigerating it for some nice, fresh yogurt the following morning for breakfast.


  1. And here I thought I was the only one who used yogurt instead of sour cream!

  2. most of the time my kids don't know the difference. Every once in a while someone will say, "mom this tastes a lot like yogurt, are you sure it's sour cream?"
    I'll never tell.