Are you ready to learn how to make yogurt from scratch? Imagine a homemade yogurt recipe that produces a creamy and easy snack – all you do is add fresh fruit.
Yogurt is created from the addition of “starter,” which is a small amount of previously cultured yogurt that has active bacterial cultures. It is added to warm milk.
The bacteria ferment the lactose in the milk, producing lactic acid (yogurt bacteria are also beneficial for gastrointestinal health).
How to Make Yogurt from Scratch
Lactic acid, in turn, lowers the pH of the milk, which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Lactic acid gives yogurt its tangy taste, and also causes the proteins in the milk to thicken into a pudding-like consistency.
Learning how to make yogurt is easy when you have someone that knows what they are doing and Maria at everything-goat-milk.com does.
Please visit the following website for pictures that show the yogurt-making process. Maria at everything-goat-milk.com contributed this recipe and instructions. You must check out her beautiful goat milk soaps – Thanks Maria!
To make yogurt, you will need:
1 quart pasteurized goat milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt with active cultures
sterile container with lid for incubating (quart canning jar is a good choice)
1 TBS powdered milk (for thicker yogurt), optional
You can sterilize the recommended quart canning jar by boiling in water for ten minutes. Leave the jar in the covered pot of hot water until ready to use.
Alternatively, you can culture your yogurt directly in the pot in which you heat the milk, provided you have a large enough container for the pot during the incubation stage.
Also, keep in mind that temperatures over 130 degrees will kill the yogurt bacteria and cause your yogurt to fail, and you do not want that.
Warm the milk to 115 degrees. It’s best to warm slowly so as not to overshoot the temperature and have to cool it down again. If you are working with freshly pasteurized milk, set the container of milk in cool water and stir until the temperature comes down to 115 degrees.
How To Make Yogurt With a Yogurt Maker
4 to 5 cups whole or skim milk
1/3 cup instant non-fat dry milk (optional)
6 TBS plain yogurt
Heat milk in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat to 200 degrees. Add the dry milk during the heating period. The dry milk improves the consistency of the yogurt.
Remove milk from heat and cool to lukewarm – about 110 degrees. Place 1 tablespoon of yogurt into each jar. Divide the warm milk among the jars, filling to 1/2 of edge (head room).
Stir milk and yogurt mixture gently to combine. Cover jars with lids and burp lid. Position holding try into the yogurt maker. Plug in and process 4 to 10 hours depending on the desired tartness.
After processing, unplug the machine and remove cover. Transfer holding tray with the jars to the refrigerator. Chill for at least 3 hours.
Yogurt may be used in place of sour cream – 1/4 of the calories.
Yogurt may be substituted for buttermilk. For one cup of buttermilk use 2/3 cup of yogurt and 1/3 cup of water.
how to make yogurt continued…
If you are using the powdered milk to produce firmer yogurt, stir it in at this time. Add the plain yogurt to the milk and mix well. A whisk works best.
When thoroughly mixed, pour the milk into the sterile jar and close the lid tightly, or place a lid on your pot if you will be incubating the yogurt directly in the pot.
Now, you will need an incubator to keep the mixture warm for several hours. I have used both of the following methods successfully:
- Large pot (or roaster) filled with warm water and placed in an oven – Note: The oven acts as an insulator–do not turn it on.
- Ice chest filled with warm water
The warm water you use should be around 115 degrees Fahrenheit. If your tap water is not hot enough, an easy solution is to use a combination of the hot water in which you sterilized your jar, with enough cold water added to cool it to the proper temperature.
Place the jar into the hot water and either cover and place into the oven, or close the ice chest lid, and leave undisturbed for 3-8 hours. When finished, the yogurt should have a thick, gel-like consistency.
However, it will not be semi-firm like store-bought yogurt that has added thickening agents. You can save the last bit of yogurt from this jar as starter to make your next quart, and have a never-ending supply of this delicious healthy dairy product.
If the yogurt has not gelled within 8 hours, something has gone wrong. If you were careful to follow the procedures and carefully monitor the temperature, then the starter was probably bad.
Purchase a new container, looking for the freshest possible, and leave sealed until you are ready to make your yogurt. It is also likely that amounts of culture differ from brand to brand, so you may want to try a different brand at this time. Now anytime you want a great snack you know how to make yogurt (or use it in a recipe).
Learning how to make yogurt is a treat, when you have this to devour.
STRAWBERRY WATERMELON YOGURT SMOOTHIE
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 1/2 cups frozen diced watermelon
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup plain yogurt (procedure above)
2 tablespoons lemonade or orange juice
1 tsp white sugar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon homemade pure vanilla extract
Blend the strawberries, watermelon, cream, yogurt, lemonade or orange juice, sugar, and vanilla in a blender until smooth.