To make yoghurt in a machine that has seven 6-ounce containers, you will need 42 ounces (5 1/4 cups) of milk, whole or 2 per cent milk work best, and 6 ounces of plain yoghurt containing live active cultures. It is very important to use fresh, plain, unflavored yoghurt, and the freshest, best-quality milk you can find. The quality of your yoghurt will depend on the quality of the ingredients you start out with.
The first step to homemade yoghurt is to heat the milk. To begin, pour the milk into a saucier or saucepan over medium heat. Heat the milk until it begins to foam along the edges of the pan, but don’t let it boil. At this point, it should be about 180 F. Remove the pan from the heat.
Cool the milk until the temperature is about 110 F. To speed up this process, fill a large container or your sink with ice. Place a bowl big enough to hold the warm milk in the ice and when the milk reaches the right temperature pour into the bowl. The milk should cool down in about 5 minutes, compared to a much longer amount of time if just left on the counter in the saucepan. While you’re waiting for the milk to cool, spoon 6 ounces of yoghurt into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Before adding the warm milk to the cold yoghurt, you need to temper a bit of the mixture. Tempering is gradually combining a warm substance with a cooler ingredient so the cooler ingredient doesn’t cook at all. Using a ladle, add some of the cooled milk to the yoghurt, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring with a whisk or a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth.
When you’ve added about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of milk to the yoghurt, pour the milk-yoghurt mixture back into the bowl or pan with the remaining milk and stir until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy. When the yoghurt has finished incubating, remove the containers from the yoghurt maker, put the lids on each, and refrigerate the finished yoghurt until it is chilled through (at least 3 hours). Yoghurt will keep about 10 days when refrigerated.
- 1/2 gallon of milk – preferably raw
- canning jars and lids – 2-quart size & 1-pint size
- 4 tbsp pre-made yoghurt
- Heat milk in a stainless steel pan on the stove over medium heat until it reaches 180°F.
- Pour heated milk into clean canning jars and cool, either by sitting on the counter or in a cool water bath until the temperature drops to 115°F.
- Add the pre-made yoghurt from a previous batch of yoghurt or from store-bought yoghurt.
- Lightly stir just enough to incorporate into the milk.
- Place the jars into the oven with the light on for 12-24 hours. The light should provide a consistent heat of about 110°F.
- Put jars into the refrigerator until the yoghurt is cold and set.
- Once the yoghurt is set you can pour off the liquid whey from the top or strain the yoghurt using cheesecloth for a thicker consistency.