I did it! I made yogurt!
I succeeded. After three or four tries that is. At first yogurt was getting me REALLY FRUSTRATED.
1st attempt: following an old Persian recipe- simmer the milk until almost boiling and then cool until still retaining a slight sting. Place in crock pot and let sit. 1st attempt: Fail.
2nd attempt: I assumed I had to do it according to strict temps. I got a candy thermometer. I tried heating it to exactly 185 and cooling until exactly 110 in a friggin double boiler which took FOREVER. Placed in a glass bowl in my rice cooker on the “warm” setting. 2nd attempt: FAIL
3rd attempt: I went out and bought the more expensive less pasteurized organic milk, hoping it would be a better quality. Heated it to the exact temps listed in 2nd attempt, and placed in a crock pot with a towel. 3rd attempt: FAIL
I was ready to quit, when Leonard, my Father-in-Law, sent me this video. The host seems very fastidious about the measurements and temperatures etc. I started following his method, when everything went wrong. I realized I had gotten Ultra-pasteurized milk, I accidentally brought the milk to a boil (which is a NO NO!) and then I cooled it lower then 110. I thought I had just another failed attempt on my hands as I put it into the oven to incubate. How surprised was I when 8 hours later, I had the most luxurious yogurt!
The secret to making yogurt is: Incubate it in the OVEN!
You don’t need to worry about the temp or the amounts. They’re not a huge deal. Just use a gas oven. Ok, enough of my rambling, here is my recipe. (I’m so excited to finally be posting again!)
- 1 1/2 gallon of milk. (I found out ultra pasteurized works fine. But I suppose the less pasteurized the better.)
- 1 c. pre-made yogurt
- 3/4 c. powdered milk (if using ultra pasteurized, helps make a thicker yogurt)
To start, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. When oven comes to temp, turn off again.
Take your 1 c. of pre-made plain yogurt (not sweetened) you are using as a starter (I used the Stonyfield plain) and set on counter to bring to room temp.
Place milk in a saucepan and heat over medium/low heat until foaming, but not yet boiling. 185 degrees if you have a thermometer. However, if it starts to boil, although you’ve gone too far, it should still be ok. This should take 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep from burning.
Place pan in sink with cold/ice water and bring down to 110 degrees. As the old Persian recipe says, this is the temp where the milk still has a slight sting when you put your finger in it. While the milk is cooking, whisk in powdered milk.
When milk has cooled to right temp, whisk in pre-made yogurt until thoroughly mixed. Place pot in oven and let sit for at least 5 hours. And you should 2 quarts of delicious yogurt!
I’ve tried this recipe now a couple of times, and it has worked each time! The yogurt tastes even better then store bought. Its smooth, creamy and less tart. I’m so excited. Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post with suggestions. I really appreciate the support. Ok, lets go eat some yogurt!
And we’re back!