cook :: homemade yogurt

I love yogurt and include it in my daily breakfast routine, but buying organic yogurt at the local supermarket can quickly add up on your grocery bill! I decided to take the leap the other day and discovered that it is a ridiculously simple process. So why make your own yogurt? By making your own, you control what you put into it and for those that are lactose intolerant or vegan, a soy option is also available.

My inspiration for this project comes from two sources: The Home Creamery by Kathy Farrel-Kingsley and the April / May 2010 issue of ReadyMade.

Ingredients:
1 litre milk* (I used organic 2% from Avalon)
2 tbsp plain yogurt* (this is your starter)

Tools:
A pot (2.25 litre is a good size)
Wooden spoon
Whisk
A container that can hold 1 litre of yogurt (I used two 500ml mason jars)
A container that can keep the yogurt warm (see picture below—I used a large soup pot with towels for insulation or you may use a camping cooler).
An instant read thermometer to ensure the milk reaches a high enough temperature and then cools to the right temperature for the starter.

Makes 1 litre of yogurt
* For a vegan option, substitute milk with soy milk and yogurt with soy yogurt.

Step one
Clean everything in your work area with soap and hot water and leave out to air dry. Remember that we are working with a cultured dairy product and we want to ensure that no unwanted bacteria is introduced.

Step two
Heat your milk in a pan. I used a basic, fairly thick bottomed pot. You want to bring the temperature to 180° F/83° C, which takes approximately 10 minutes. This is just before it starts to boil and you will begin to smell the milk as it heats.

Step three
Once it hits 180° F, let the milk mixture cool down to 115° F/46° C and then whisk in the yogurt. Make sure that the yogurt is mixed in well.

Step four
Pour the yogurt into your container. This recipe makes 1 litre of yogurt, so I used two 500 millilitre mason jars to hold the yogurt. Make sure to keep the jars warm and still for 6 to 12 hours. I used a soup pot that I stuffed with towels to keep the heat in.

If you do not have a soup pot, the Home Creamery suggests placing the jars in a picnic cooler along with jars of hot water, then pouring the mixture into a thermos bottle.

Step five
After 6 to 12 hours, your yogurt should look like yogurt! Place the finished product into the fridge to cool.

When ready, mix well and enjoy. The yogurt will last up to a week.

Originally posted on Granville Online April 30, 2010

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