Two years ago, I was doing my regular grocery shopping and I looked at the ingredients of the yogurt products in store. I was surprised to see how many strange-to-be-seen on a label yogurt ingredients there were. And the sad part was that these ingredients were observed on the packaging of many of the most popular brands. People, yogurt should consist only of milk and yogurt culture! In addition, knowing that I was paying nearly $4 if not more for yogurt was even more absurd.
After this happened I started thinking what if I try making yogurt at home on my own. I purchased the long list of necessary ingredients (just kidding) to make yogurt and jumped in to learn how to make it. Since then I have been making it myself, have been saving a lot of money and have been eating perfectly healthy homemade yogurt.
I am writing this blog so that you can consider start making it at home as well. It is easier than you think!
- 2% Milk (You can use yogurt with higher percentage of fat if you like your yogurt thicker) just enough to fill up a regular commercial yogurt jar (500 gr./1 lbs.)
- 2 tablespoons of high fat yogurt (preferably organic) or a commercial one (Look at the label ingredients. Remember?- Milk and yogurt culture/Lactobacillus Bulgaricus)
(I currently use Balkan Style Natural Yogurt)
Boil the milk and pour it back in the yogurt jar that you have saved for your first home-made yogurt. Let it cool down and measure the temperature. It needs to be 150 F/ 65 C. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can put your pinkie in the warm milk and count up to 10. If you can keep your pinkie until 10, your milk is cool enough to be mixed with the yogurt. If you are able to keep it for more than 10 sec, it might be too late to turn it into yogurt, so you will need to warm it up again).
When I have reached the right temperature of the milk, I add two tablespoons of yogurt and close the jar with the lid. Cover it up with a kitchen towel and wrap around the jar with a very warm blanket for 4-5 hours to maintain the same temperature. During this time the milk incubates.
In 4-5 hours the yogurt should be ready. Open it up carefully and see if it has turned into yogurt. If it has not, you have missed the right temperature or the blanket has not been warm enough. If your first try has been unsuccessful, you cannot put the mix back in the pan to follow the procedure again. (I have tried already). It has happened to me to miss the right temperature only once for almost 2 years, so don’t worry.
I have heard that some people incubate the milk in a warmed up to 120 F/48 C temperature oven but I have not tried this before and cannot guarantee results.
Who does not like products made from scratch?