Learning how to make yogurt can be convenient and cost-effective. It is a relatively simple process, and requires ingredients you might already have in your kitchen. Yogurt is good for your health and contains essential nutrients. However, store-bought yogurt is either too sweet or high in fat. Knowing how to make yogurt at home gives you freedom to create healthier versions to meet your diet goals.
What You Need To Make Yogurt
One of the simplest homemade yogurt recipes requires a quart of milk, ¼ cup dry milk, 1 tablespoon of white sugar, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt with live cultures. You’re also going to need a functioning thermometer. When choosing milk, try to avoid any milk that has “UHP”, “UHT” or “Ultra-High Pasteurized” on the labels. However, if this is the only type of milk you can get, you can still make yogurt, but it can be challenging.
Using dry milk is purely optional and the purpose of white sugar is to feed the bacteria you’re going to add to make yogurt. Keep your option of yogurt plain and not sweetened. If you want to know how to make yogurt that has a certain flavor, you can add sweeteners after it is set and ready.
How to Make Yogurt at Home
The first step is to heat the milk. Milk should be heated in a double boiler you can easily make by fitting one pot into another. If you can’t make a double boiler, you can use a single pot. Boiling in a single pot is going to need frequent stirring to prevent milk from burning. Heat milk to 85 degrees or 185 F until it starts to froth.
Fill a bath or basin with cold water and sit the pot of milk inside to cool it down. Allow the temperature of milk to drop lower than 49 degrees or 120 F. Be careful not to let it get cooler than 32 degrees or 90 F. Continue to stir it while it cools. You can also use the fridge to cool.
While the milk cools, take out your plain yogurt and allow it to sit at room temperature to warm up. Some prefer using plain yogurt for live cultures or bacteria because it is the easier way to learn how to make yogurt. However, you can substitute plain yogurt with freeze-dried bacteria. Freeze-dried bacteria is sold in specialty stores and you can order some online too.
Add the ¼ cup of dry milk to the cool milk in the pot. Stir until it is evenly distributed. If you are watching your weight, opt for non-fat dry milk. It contains less fat and more nutrients.
Stir in the plain yogurt or freeze-dried bacteria into the milk. You should also make sure it is distributed well. Use a blender if necessary.
Pour the yogurt mixture into your choice of container or jars. Place containers in a warm place to keep it at around 38 degrees or 100 F. You can keep the containers in a yogurt maker, an oven, food dehydrator or even a window that lets in sunlight. Incubate the mixture from 2-12 hours until it achieves a yogurt consistency.
When you’ve achieved the right consistency, add fruit or any other flavoring and topping you desire. If you want your yogurt to be thicker, use cheesecloth to strain it. Return yogurt to the fridge for storage until you’re ready to eat.
Knowing how to make yogurt is relatively simple. You can flavor it however you want, and at the consistency you desire. Yogurt makers make the process much easier. However, with vigilant monitoring and a reliable thermometer, you can make your own yogurt in less than a day.