I’ve been listening to podcasts a lot lately, and it’s not surprising that the series from Cherry Bombe magazine—interviews with women in the food industry—is quite inspirational. I loved hearing Ruth Reichl talk about what’s in her fridge; Ina Garten share some great entertaining stories; and Erin McKenna recount the beginnings of her gluten-free bakery Babycakes. When Christine Muhlke mentioned she makes her own yogurt, I thought, “Wow, I want to be the type of gal that makes my own yogurt.” Sure, it’s a relatively simple task, but I just like the idea of taking the time to make something delicious instead of buying it. I was eating a lot of yogurt last year (with this delicious granola) and I’m surprised I didn’t think of it sooner. Now that I have, I’ve decided it’s going to be one of those things that I just do.
As I mentioned, the process is super simple: heat up some milk, add a little yogurt, cool, and enjoy. Although you can purchase yogurt cultures to start the yogurt, the process can also be done with store-bought yogurt. Just make sure you pick-up a yogurt that says “live active cultures” in the ingredients and lists cultures such as L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, and L. Casei. Once you have a batch made, you can simple save ½ cup for the next time. Whether you make it once, or you have homemade yogurt become part of your 2015 routines like me, enjoy!
Homemade Yogurt, adapted from The Kitchn
Yield: about 2 quarts
2 quarts milk
½ cup yogurt containing live active cultures
Pour the milk into a dutch oven or heavy duty stock pot and gently heat to just below boiling, about 180°F. Stir occasionally as the milk heats to avoid scorching. When the milk has reached 180°F, or comes to a simmer, turn off heat and cool until it’s just warm to the touch, around 112°F to 115°F. Continue to stir occasionally to avoid a skin from forming.
In a bowl, combine the yogurt and a small amount of the warm milk. Whisk together until smooth, then add back into the milk pot. Whisk gently together. Cover the pot and place into a warm place (ideally around 110°F); a turned off oven with the pilot light on works well.
Let the yogurt set, at least 4 hours or overnight. Check after 4 hours for flavor and consistency; the longer the yogurt sits, the thicker and more tart it will become. Avoid moving the yogurt around or stirring it until fully set.
When the yogurt is at an ideal texture and flavor, remove the pot from the oven. If liquid has formed on the top (whey), you can pour it off for a thicker yogurt or stir it back in for a more creamy texture. Transfer yogurt to storage containers, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.