With the exception of a commercial yogurt maker with an electrically heated base, most of the equipment needed to prepare yogurt can be found in any kitchen. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment before you begin preparing yogurt:
- 2 quarts whole milk
- 2/3 cup dry milk powder
- 1/2 cup unflavored, cultured yogurt
- 4 to 6 tablespoons honey (optional and only use honey after your baby is 1 year old)
Yield 8-10 cups
- Double boiler or a pot of water with a bowl on top, (Bain Marie)
- Yogurt maker like the Yogourmet (you can also use mason jars if you have a place to incubate the yogurt that will stay 108-112 degrees for four hours, see Incubator Options below)
- Candy Thermometer that has a range of 100-300 degrees
- Ice bath- which is a very large bowl of ice and cold water
- Large glass measuring cup to temper yogurt starter and milk
- Incubator to maintain a constant temperature of 108 degrees F to 112 degrees F when incubating yogurt. The most foolproof method for incubating yogurt is in a commercial yogurt-maker with an electrically heated base. If you don’t want to purchase a yogurt maker, experiment with mason jars in a container with water, (water bath)
1 – Prewarm oven to 200 degrees F and turn off. Use an oven thermometer to monitor temperature — do not let it drop below 100 degrees F. Turn oven on for short periods during incubation to maintain a temperature of 108 degrees F to 112 degrees F. You can leave the light on to keep it warm as well.
2 – Line an ice chest (picnic cooler) with aluminum foil. Place four, one-quart jars filled with hot water (about 140 degrees F) inside the ice chest with the yogurt container(s) and cover ice chest with a tight-fitting lid. Allow space between jars and container(s) of yogurt.
3 – Set filled container(s) of yogurt on a towel-covered heating pad set on medium heat in a sheltered corner on a kitchen counter. Cover the jars with several towels. Yogurt can be stored in the refrigerator for about 10 days. This recipe can be doubled or tripled with no loss of quality, but make sure you can use that amount in 10 days or less. Adjust pan and container size accordingly.
4-Place yogurt into crock pot and place in the oven with the light on and no heat. Incubate for 8-12 hours before refrigerating.
- Place cold milk on top of a double boiler or bain marie and stir in nonfat dry milk powder. Add honey if a sweeter, less tart yogurt is desired.
- Heat milk to 180 degrees F, stirring gently and hold for 10 minutes. Do not boil
- Place top of double boiler in an ice bath with cold water and ice to cool milk rapidly to 112 degrees F to 115 degrees F. Watch the temperature carefully as it falls rapidly once it reaches 125 degrees F. Remove pan from ice bath.
- Remove one cup of the warm milk and blend it with the yogurt starter culture. Add this to the rest of the warm milk. Temperature should now be 110 degrees F to 112 degrees F.
- Pour immediately into the clean hot container(s), cover and place in prepared incubator. Close incubator. Incubate about 4 hours. Yogurt should be set. The longer the incubation time, the more tart or acidic the flavor.
- Refrigerate immediately.
- Hint: To make yogurt at home, an active (living) yogurt culture is needed as a “starter.” For best results, however, purchase commercial cultured yogurt or yogurt starter like the Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter. If you use Yogourmet, don’t add in the dry milk powder.
- For thin yogurt: Rapid cooling stops the development of acid. Yogurt will keep for about 10 days if held at 40 degrees F or lower (normal refrigerator temperature).
- For thick, firm yogurt: Place cold, pasteurized milk in the top of a double boiler and stir in nonfat dry milk powder. Stir in honey if sweeter, less tart yogurt is desired. Sprinkle gelatin over the milk. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften gelatin. * Heat milk to 200 degrees F and hold for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring gently to dissolve gelatin. Continue from Step 3 under thin yogurt.