Xanga Archive 06/04/2006


Materials Needed.

Picnic Cooler
Candy Thermometer
Quart Glass Jars/Lids
Dannon Brand Plain Yogurt
Sauce Pan

I'm no pro at this, but I'll tell you what I did and give recommendations from friends on how you can improve if you want to try something different.

You can use any kind of milk you want, but I use skim because homogenized milk is not healthy. My daughter had asthma until she quit drinking it, but that's a whole other subject. Whole milk, whether raw or homogenized, will, however make your yogurt thicker.

Pour enough milk to fill your glass jars with 1/2 to an 1 inch gap at the top. If you are using raw milk, you may want to pasteurize it, but it's not necessary. If you pasteurize, bring the milk to 185 degrees and then cool to 110 degrees; otherwise just bring the milk up to 110 degrees (this is what I do).

Pour milk into jars. For each quart of milk add 2-3 Tablespoons of Dannon Plain Yogurt to the jar. You can use cheap stuff, but Dannon is the most natural and has the most effective cultures. Mix and put the lid on loosely to allow gases to escape.

Fill the picnic cooler with water to reach just under the lid of the jars. This water should be from 105 degrees to no higher than 125 degrees to ensure best growth from your culture. Too hot and they will die. Too cold and it will take forever for your yogurt to "cook". Maintain the temp in the cooler. Use a candy thermometer to check periodically. I had to rewarm the water once during my first batch. It lost about 2 degrees per hour.

I cooked mine for 8 hours (overnight), but 5 hours is recommended. The longer it cooks the more sour it becomes. After the water bath is over, place in the fridge for several hours for the best "set". You can eat it right after it's cooled, but it will be watery. When ready to eat, either stir in liquids or pour them off.

Mine was a bit thin and my friends recommend adding powdered milk and/or gelatin. I don't really want to buy either one of these, but I did think that maybe I would get some cream to add a tablespoon of fat to each quart and see if it doesn't set up better.

To make the next batch, you can use yogurt from your first batch. Experts (not me) say that you can keep doing this for awhile but after several batches your yogurt will grow more sour with each batch, so you may want to start over. Another friend recommended that you freeze your starter in ice cube trays. I did this and it worked well. After the cubes are frozen, pop them into a freezer container and they will be ready for your next batch. One quart of Dannon makes about 18 ice cubes at 3 Tablespoons each. I'm going to try this with the cream as well. I figure my recipe costs about $3.70 per gallon of yogurt (including the added cream) compared to buying Dannon each time would cost me about $6.70.

If you want more hints, tips and tricks, visit welltellme.com. I learned all I know from my forum buddies.

To find more recipes, ideas, tips and tricks for making your own yogurt, come on over to welltellme.com and join the discussion thread on yogurt making.

Be Blessed

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disclaimer:  caution must be taken when reading my blog.  i'm a new creature and the Lord continues to mold and shape me through his will.  older entries may seem to contradict the newer ones.  there's a pretty good chance that they do for two reasons.  first, because of my nature, as i strive for perfection, i will continue to fall short of the mark and should therefore be thankful for his grace and should seek his (and your) forgiveness for having been so foolish in the past.   second, i continue to grow in him; and as changes are made, i have made attempts to change my blog to reflect those changes. in this event, please refer to #1.   if you're interested in perfection, my blog isn't the place to be.  pick up a king james bible (yup, i'm one of THOSE people) and read his PERFECT word.