Saturday, February 23, 2013

Homemade Yogurt

Yesterday I made homemade yogurt for the first time. Before I share with you the how, let's talk about the why. For many reasons I think it is important to buy food that is grown/raised locally. I will have to go into those reasons in a separate blog post or else we could be here for hours. There are many books that could help explain why I feel this way, one example would be The Essential Agrarian Reader. That being said, I am generally not following through with my beliefs on this issue. I buy pretty much all of my food from the grocery store. So, I am working slowly to introduce more local food into my regular diet. So, I thought what better place to start than dairy products. I mean I eat tons of them everyday. From cream in my coffee in the morning, yogurt at lunch everyday, and cheese is somewhere on the menu each day. That means I'm eating a lot of dairy on an everyday basis.

Thanks to +Keely I was able to find a source for local milk. Just 30 minutes from my home over at Briar Patch Farm, they raise happy, healthy Jersey Heifers on pasture without using chemicals, antibiotics or hormones. I was able to get in on their cow-share program to be able to receive a gallon of milk per week. This is whole cream milk. So we poured off almost a quart of cream to keep separate in the fridge for our coffee and cooking needs. With the remaining milk I used 1/2 gallon to make yogurt this week. I am hoping once I master yogurt to venture out into making other dairy products. I am seeing cream-cheese and mozzarella as some of my future kitchen adventures hopefully.

When I decided to make yogurt I sought advice from friends and family who have done this before and also searched the internet for recipes. I ultimately used a combination of methods/recipes to make my own.

Here's how it went...

Necessary Materials:

- Large pot
- Cooler
- Containers to store yogurt in (I used 2 quart mason jars and a small jelly jar, you can use whatever you have available, even old store-bought yogurt containers)
- Measuring cup (all I had was a 1-cup, but a 2-cup or larger would be better)
- 1 tablespoon measuring spoon
- Candy thermometer (not pictured)
- 8 cups of milk
- 3 tbs yogurt (with live active cultures, I used Stonyfield organic from the grocery store, most brands will do fine)


1.) First boil a pot of water with glass jars and lids to sterilize them. Set jars aside on a towel to dry.

2.) Prepare an ice water bath in the sink.

3.) Place pot of boiled water into ice water bath until water cools to 120* F.

4.) Pour 120* water into cooler and close lid.

5.) Add 8-cups milk to pot and heat to 185* F. Stir frequently, do not let milk boil.

6.) Once milk reaches 185* F, remove from heat and place in ice water bath to cool to 120* F.

7.) Once milk has cooled to 120* F, add 3 tbs yogurt and stir to mix consistently.

8.) Pour milk and yogurt mixture into your containers, close the lids tight and place in cooler.

9.) Leave in cooler undisturbed for 6-8 hours.

10.) Transfer containers to fridge. Let yogurt cool and set.

11.) Once yogurt has cooled it is ready to enjoy! You can add your favorite toppings to flavor it or leave it plain. Fruit and granola are my favorite topping for yogurt. You can use fresh fruit, frozen fruit or even jelly! I added frozen blueberries to mine and enjoyed it for breakfast this morning!

1 comment:

comments greatly appreciated