Making Homemade Yogurt
I’ve been wanting to make homemade yogurt for a long time but held back for several reasons.
I didn’t think I had enough time. I didn’t think I had the right equipment. I didn’t think it would turn out right because it would be too runny. I didn’t know what incubation meant.
But then I was over at a friend’s house recently and she had just made some. She said it wasn’t that difficult really and that her family saves a ton of money by making their own. That gave me the push I needed to give it a try at last.
It can be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out the best way to make it if you just google instructions. People make it in their crockpot, instant pot, in specific yogurt makers, etc. But I’m so happy with this simple method that I found on The Prairie Homestead.
Total bonus that I had all necessary equipment on hand like my trust Mason jars!!! All I needed was to buy a gallon of milk.
So here is what you need for supplies:
Large pot – big enough for 2 or 4 jars
Quart-sized Mason jars and lids
And this is all you need for ingredients:
Gallon of whole milk (there are many opinions on what type of milk to use, but I did plain old whole milk from the store)
2 Tablespoons of plain yogurt with live cultures per jar (so 4 to 8 tablespoons total)
Now for the instructions:
Fill your jars (however many you want) with milk. Leave about 2 inches of space at the top.
Put your jars in your large pot and fill the pot with water…about ¾ of the way up the side of your jars.
Place the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Let the jars simmer in the water until the milk inside reaches 180-185 degrees F.
Ever so carefully, remove the hot jars from the water and let them cool down to 110-120 degrees F. I just let them sit on the counter and tested them with the thermometer periodically to determine their temperature.
Once the jars have cooled, stir in 2 tablespoons of the yogurt into each jar. It is important that your jars have cooled so that you don’t kill your live yogurt cultures as you mix the yogurt in.
Now begins the incubation process. The yogurt needs to stay at 110-120 degrees F while it incubates. Place your jars in a small cooler and fill it up with warm water (about ¾ up the jars). My tap water was right around 115 degrees, but test yours to see.
Allow the yogurt jars to sit in the cooler of warm water for 8-12 hours. You may need to replace the water a few times to keep the temperature maintained and consistent. The longer the yogurt sits, the tangier the yogurt will get.
Once you have completed this process, remove the jars and put them in the fridge. Allow the yogurt to cool completely before eating. It will thicken even more as it cools.
And that’s it! So simple with most supplies you probably already have at home even. The most difficult part for me was having a block of time to consistently check on it, but with planning you can make that work!
I may experiment with flavorings in the future, but for now, I was happy with my first plain old batch.
When I tried it the next morning, I added a little bit of vanilla extract with some homemade granola and fresh blackberries. The options for toppings are endless though. You could also do dried fruit, maple syrup or honey, or nuts.
No added sugar, good protein and lots of healthy probiotics that can’t be beat!!! So glad I finally tried it and look forward to doing more!