Ready to eat!

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

Ready to eat!Yogurt is a staple around our house – vanilla yogurt is one of the picky child’s favorite foods, and I’m a big fan of thick and creamy plain Greek yogurt.

Yogurt is one of those foods that’s quite easy to make at home, but rarely attempted.  You don’t need a yogurt maker (although I think I spent maybe $10 on mine, and it makes it even easier, so I recommend it).  It does take a little time, but if you like to know exactly what goes in your yogurt–and flavor it the way YOU like it–it’s definitely worth it. So… if you’ve been hesitating, here’s homemade yogurt, demystified!

Previously I’ve made plain, but today I decided to make vanilla & honey flavored yogurt.

How to Make Honey-Vanilla Yogurt

Click the pictures below to see larger/as a slideshow… Recipe & tips follow.

Ingredients:
4 cups milk
1/3-1/2 c dry milk powder
1/2 c plain yogurt (make sure it has active cultures–it will say so on the package!)
Flavorings/sweeteners (Optional – you can always make plain and add later)

  • For honey-vanilla:  ~2 Tbls honey, 1 Teas vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean)
  • Note: I like mine sweet, but not too much, so this is not a super sweet recipe.

Hardware:

-A kitchen thermometer. I like this type because I use it for everything: Probe Thermometer
-A way to keep the yogurt at a consistent temp for several hours:

  • a Yogurt Maker(look for a deal on one, I got mine on sale for like $10).. This makes it easy.  All the yogurt maker really does is keep it at the right temp for the period of time you need it.  Mine is totally bare bones, and works fine.
  • Or use Alton Brown’s trick of putting a heating pad in a wine bucket, which is supposed to work well.
  • Here’s another site with several suggestions on how to do it. Like a cooler with water, the oven, or even a food dehydrator. The important thing is to keep the temperature at around 101-115 degrees F and totally undisturbed for the entire time.

Steps:

  1. Heat your milk, dry milk (and optional vanilla/vanilla bean) on the stove to almost boiling (at least 18o degrees F)
  2. Stir in your honey or other sweetener (optional)
  3. Remove from heat and place pot in large icewater bath to cool it to around ~110F.  (If you use a whole vanilla bean, be sure to fish it out!  And you can open it and scrape in some seeds for that authentic vanilla bean look, if you like..)
  4. Take about a cup out of the mixture and stir it with your half cup of plain yogurt, then add back to the pot.  Stir gently.
  5. Place the mixture in your yogurt maker (or other options, see above) and let sit undisturbed at the appropriate temp for 6-21 hours.  The longer you let it sit, the more tangy/tart it will be.
  6. Remove from yogurt maker.  It should be looking like yogurt, but may still be a little thin.  That’s ok, it will set up more in the fridge.
  7. Place in the refrigerator for several hours until cool.  If you like a thicker yogurt, like I do, then let it drain through cheesecloth overnight.

That’s it!  It takes a little while for your finished product, but mostly it’s just waiting time.  Enjoy!

If you made plain yogurt, you can fancy it up with sweeteners or topping after it’s done, as well.

Do you have any good yogurt recipes?  Post them in the comments!

EDIT: Check out the comments for more suggestions and tips from the readers.. some good ones!

*I am an Amazon affiliate, so if you actually buy something through those links I get a tiny amount of cash to buy some good vanilla next time!

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