At the time I began experimenting I didn't have any special equipment for making yogurt but I learned that I didn't need anything except what I already had in my kitchen. Some mason jars, check. A 9x13 pan to hold warm water, check. A little bit of store bought yogurt, check. Finally, milk. I had all the ingredients at my disposal so this would surely be easy!
All you do is take 4 quart jars and fill with milk (leave a bit of headspace)
Once this part is done you simply remove the jars of milk from the hot water and let them cool to about 110 degrees. It is important that the milk doesn't cool too much so you want the jars to still be warm to the touch. This is when you add your yogurt cultures. Be sure that you have 8 Tablespoons of non flavored, active live culture yogurt. I have found the best kind to start homemade yogurt with is the plain, unflavored Greek yogurt kind.
You will now be stirring in 2 T of the store bought yogurt into each of the milk jars. Put the jars back into the stock pot you used and fill that pot back up with warm tap water and put the whole thing in your oven. Do not turn on the oven, simply turn on the oven light if you can and let the science experiment begin! The yogurt will need to incubate for 8-12 hours. The longer it goes the thicker and tangier it gets.
My favorite way to do this is to make up the yogurt at night and then get up in the morning to fresh yogurt! (though my kids prefer the yogurt chilled in the fridge before they eat it).
Our favorite toppings...
Cashews & honey
- Large stockpot
- Four quart-sized glass canning jars with lids (or repurposed glass jars)
- A thermometer (optional- see note below)
- 1 gallon milk
- 8 Tablespoons of plain yogurt containing live, active cultures
- Fill jars with milk, be sure to leave headspace
- Set jars in stockpot and fill pot with water halfway or more of the way up the sides of jars
- Bring water to an "almost boil" until milk in jars have reached 180-185 degrees F or until a "skin" forms on top of milk
- Remove jars and let them cool to 110 degrees
- Check periodically with thermometer (or feel outside of jars) and stir (warm is good but too would kill your active cultures)
- Once cooled, stir 2 Tablespoons yogurt into each jar
- To keep yogurt at 110-120 degrees while it incubates place jars in warm water again in the stock pot and place in oven with light on.
- Allow the yogurt to incubate a minimum of 8-12 hours (the longer it sits, the tangier it gets)
- Cap and refrigerate your very own yogurt!
Yep, it really is that easy! Moving forward you no longer have to buy the yogurt cultures, now you can just make your own!