Making yogurt at home is easy, healthy, and delicious! With just a few simple ingredients and steps, you can have a tasty batch of homemade yogurt whenever you want. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make yogurt at home

1. How To Make Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts whole milk – You can use any type of milk, but whole milk works best for a rich, creamy yogurt.
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt with live active cultures – This is the yogurt starter that will culture the milk. Make sure to check for “live and active cultures” on the label.
  • Equipment:
  • Whisk
  • Thermometer
  • Yogurt maker or instant pot (optional but helpful)
  • Glass jars with lids

Instructions

Start by sterilizing your jars and any equipment you’ll be using to avoid contamination. Boil the jars in a big pot of water for 10 minutes. Then let them air dry completely before using.

Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Heat the milk slowly until it reaches 180°F, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom. This step denatures the proteins in the milk which will help the yogurt thicken properly.

Remove the milk from heat and allow it to cool down to 110-115°F. This takes about 30 minutes. The temperature is very important in this step, so using a thermometer is recommended. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yogurt cultures.

While the milk is cooling, whisk the 1/4 cup plain yogurt in a small bowl until smooth. This will be the yogurt starter.

Once the milk has cooled to 110-115°F, whisk in the yogurt starter until thoroughly combined.

Pour the cultured milk into the sterilized jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Seal the lids tightly.

Now it’s time to incubate the yogurt. Place the jars into a yogurt maker or instant pot if you have one. Make sure to follow the appliance instructions. If you don’t have a yogurt maker, simply put the jars in a warm place like an oven or Styrofoam cooler for 8-12 hours. For the oven method, turn on the oven light and keep the oven temperature between 100-110°F.

After the incubation time, the yogurt should have thickened. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to cool and complete the thickening process.

Once properly chilled, enjoy your homemade yogurt! Top it with fresh fruit, granola, or use it in smoothies or parfaits.

Some Tips When Making Yogurt

  • Stick with whole milk for a richer, creamier yogurt texture. Lower fat milks may not culture properly.
  • Make sure the milk cools to 110-115°F before adding starter. Too hot will kill cultures.
  • Whisk the starter very smoothly to evenly distribute cultures.
  • Maintain a consistent incubation temperature for best results. A yogurt maker helps eliminate temperature guessing.
  • Refrigerate for the recommended time to allow yogurt to fully thicken.
  • Make a big batch and save some plain yogurt to use as starter for your next batch.

With this easy method, you can have endless supplies of creamy homemade yogurt. Adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes – try using half and half or milk alternatives like coconut milk. Getting active cultures from live yogurt is a nutritious and satisfying way to promote gut health.

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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