I own two Salton yogurt makers: a 5 cup and a 5 pint. I have tried more recipes than I care to admit with little or no success. Inevitably every recipe came out too runny for my palate. I accepted defeat and stored the yogurt makers where I did not have to face them again.
That was my history with yogurt; until last week….It changed when I watched a yogurt-making segment on the “Live Healthy” TV channel. I found myself lured once again into making yogurt at
home. This recipe heated the milk to a higher temperature than other recipes I had tried, and that higher temperature made all the difference. The results are AMAZING! So amazing I want to share the joy and the know-how with my blog readers.
Yogurt Making Equipment
A yogurt maker is wonderful, and Salton yogurt makers can occasionally be found at thrift stores for a small price. As long as you find a working base and cover, you can successfully replace jars and lids, or make due with substitutes. Ebay had several jars and lids available at last check. There are newer models available that probably make life easier, but I choose to use my old makers and reduce my appliance inventory.
If you don’t have a yogurt maker, pint size mason jars can be used as culture jars using the oven. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Set mason jars on a tray on the middle shelf and turn off the oven. Jars will need to culture for 6-8 hour, so remember not to open the oven during this time.
You will need a reliable and accurate thermometer. Digital readout is probably the easiest way to determine temperature, but I have a candy thermometer that works just fine.
Use jars sterilized in the dishwasher or dip in boiling water for a few minutes to kill any bacteria and yeast that may be on the jar. If using mason jars, sterilize lids too.
The Yogurt Recipe
- 1/2 gallon milk of your choice: whole, 2%, skim, lowfat, cow, goat, etc.
- *3 TBLSP commercial live yogurt culture ( plain) from the grocery
- 2 TBLSP milk
- * Save a jar of your home-made yogurt to use as the starter for the next batch. When the texture of the yogurt thins, use commercial yogurt product to restore the integrity of the culture.
Pour 1/2 gallon of milk (minus the 2 Tablespoons) into a large pot and heat at med to low heat until the milk reaches 185 degrees F. Stir frequently to prevent scorching the milk.
- This temp is the key to getting a good set on the yogurt. The temperature is higher than regular milk pasteurization temps (165 degrees F) so it ultra-pasteurizes the milk killing off bacteria and yeast.
Once the milk reaches the correct temperature turn off the heat and remove from burner. Monitor temperature regularly. When milk drops to 110-115 degrees F it is ready to introduce the culture.
Mix 3 Tblsp of yogurt culture with 2 Tblsp of milk and mix until smooth.
Add culture mixture to milk and stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour into jars, top with lids and incubate 6-8 hours until firm.
Once firm, place yogurt in the refrigerator until ready for use.
Uses for Yogurt
Did you know yogurt makes a great facial mask? Add a Tblsp of honey and mix. Apply to face making sure to avoid the eyes. Wash off with cool water after 15-20 minutes.
Yogurt can be used as a substitute for sour cream in most recipes and if you use lowfat or skill milk, you will save several calories.
Add fresh fruit to a serving of yogurt and top with granola or toasted coconut for a continental breakfast. A dollop of honey adds sweetness and a sprinkling of spices such as cinnamon, ground coriander, nutmeg, allspice or mace add a distinctive and fresh flavor.
Yogurt is well recognized as a healthy food for the intestinal tract. The “good” bacteria found in yogurt cultures help maintain a healthy presence of bacteria when eaten regularly. Probiotics (bacterial cultures found in the healthy intestinal tract) are beneficial especially after intestinal illness or while taking antibiotics to restore the balance of bacteria necessary for proper food digestion.
I hope you will consider making your own yogurt at home using this simple recipe and enjoy life’s simple pleasures!