Although the overall process of making yogurt takes at least half a day, the hands-on involvement is only about 20 minutes.  I usually work on it while doing another kitchen project.  I also like to make it in the morning and let it incubate all day or make it while I’m making dinner and let it incubate over night.

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If you like to maximize your grocery savings, you’ll love this.  With yogurt going for $4-7 a quart, making your own gives you huge savings!  Recently, milk was on sale here for $1/half gallon, the individual cups of Stoneyfield were $1, and though I keep powdered milk on hand, it shouldn’t be more than $1-2 for 2 cups.  For that $2-4, I make 5 quarts of yogurt (vanilla and blueberry) or 40-80 cents a quart–less if you use starter from yogurt you’ve made previously.  That’s a HUGE savings!  Woo-hoo!

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There are several variations to this recipe(see below) and you can easily double, triple, or quadruple the recipe and/or variations with no more time investment than the original recipe.

(All links in red, coming soon)

To make Sweetened Vanilla Yogurt, follow this tutorial. 

To make Fruit Yogurt, follow this tutorial.

To make any of the yogurts using powdered milk, follow this tutorial.

To see how I make several variations in one big batch, follow this tutorial.

To make Yogurt Cheese, follow this tutorial.

For the Granola recipe and tutorial, click here

For a handy, PDF chart with all the steps and variations:

BASIC YOGURT AND VARIATIONS

Are you ready for

EASY, FAIL-PROOF YOGURT MAKING?

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First collect your supplies and ingredients:

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Large saucepan, cooking thermometer, spoon, measuring cups and spoons, whisk, funnel.  Incubator (glass jars, hot pad, bowl, towel)

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2-3 TB prepared yogurt*(this is your “starter yogurt”), quart of milk, ½ C milk powder

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A couple of notes here:

  1. You can use store-bought OR homemade yogurt as your starter yogurt.  I’ve gone with the advice that the “healthier” the original yogurt—in terms of amount of beneficial cultures—the better the subsequent batches.
  1. Variations on the Basic recipe include sweetened vanilla yogurt, fruit yogurt and yogurt made entirely from powdered milk.

3. The batches of yogurt can easily be multiplied.

This tutorial shows the steps for the Plain Yogurt.

DO THESE STEPS FOR ALL YOGURTS:

Put one quart of milk in a large saucepan.  You can use fat-free or whole or anything in between.

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Using a whisk*, blend in ½ C of milk powder.  (*You can also use a regular blender or an immersion blender.  I’ve done both, though sometimes with the immersion blender, I manage to splatter milk all over the stove and backsplash!)

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Over medium heat, stirring frequently, heat milk to 180 degrees.  Keep a careful eye on the milk as it can easily scald, particularly as the temperature gets higher.  This could take around 10 minutes.

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Remove from heat and cool to 115 degrees.   This will probably take at least half an hour.  You can “hurry” the process by setting the pan in a container of icy water, but it’s easiest to just let it sit.

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Note:  You can use a candy thermometer (in the first picture) or a meat thermometer (immediately above) with equal success.

Scoop 2 heaping Tablespoons yogurt into a bowl.

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Whisk in a little of the cooled milk.

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Add the yogurt/milk mixture back into the pan and whisk.

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Pour mixture into jars.  This is easiest to do if you use a funnel and start with a ladle.  Once the pot is less full, it’s easier to pour.  You can fill the jar almost to the top–for that last 1/2 inch or so, it’s easiest to see the volume without the funnel.

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Note: One quart of milk, plus the other ingredients, makes a little more than a quart of yogurt, so you will need a pint jar or extra jars in other sizes for each quart batch.

Put lids on jars.

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Set jars on a heating pad set on “low”.

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Cover jars with large inverted bowl or pan and then with a thick towel.

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Incubate (meaning leave there) for 7-12 hours, depending on desired thickness of yogurt.  The longer you leave the yogurt, the thicker it will be.  The yogurt below was incubated for 8 hours and is quite thick (Greek style).  Yum!

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Refrigerate. . .and enjoy!

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With a dollop of homemade mango-raspberry jam.

Serve plain, with added fruit or pie filling, sweetened with honey or jam, with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg or layered with granola and other goodies for a yummy parfait.  Enjoy!

For a handy, PDF chart with all the steps and variations:

BASIC YOGURT AND VARIATIONS

To make Sweetened Vanilla Yogurt, follow this tutorial.

To make Fruit Yogurt, follow this tutorial.

To make any of the yogurts using powdered milk, follow this tutorial.

To see how I make several variations in one big batch, follow this tutorial.

To make Yogurt Cheese, follow this tutorial.

For the Granola recipe and tutorial, click here.

*OK, confession–it’s mostly fail-proof, but recently, I went out of town for a sisters’ weekend. Two days after getting to my sisters’, my husband texted, “Did you want something done with this yogurt that’s been incubating in the corner?”  Yeah, well. . .user error happens.

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