Saturday, August 11, 2007

making yogurt

When I tell people I make my own bread & yogurt I get all sorts of responses, mostly involving the time & effort. Honestly, if either took much time or effort, I wouldn't do them. Bread needs 5-10 minutes of actual effort on my part, most of of the time involved in making bread is spent waiting around - for the mixer to knead it, for it rise, and rise again and to bake and to cool. But you can do other things, even leave the house, while most of that is going on.

Yogurt is the same way, but needs even less effort. Get a quart size glass mason jar, wide mouths are best. Fill it most of the way up with milk (not skim), microwave it for 6-7 minutes until it reaches 180-185 degrees. Stick it in the fridge for about a half hour (check at 20 minutes until you know for sure) until it cools to between 110-115 degrees, stirring occasionally.  You can also leave it on the counter for 45-60 minutes.  Add to it a quarter cup powdered milk, 2 tablespoons of yogurt from your last batch, or that you bought and a good squeeze of honey.  Stir it gently together.  Wrap the jar in a bunch of kitchen or hand towels and put in a 6 pack sized insulated tote or small cooler.  Fill the corners & crevices with towels/washcloths as well.  Wait about 8 hours (at least 6 hours for thinner, up to 10 for thicker).  Unwrap the jar & put it in the fridge, wait 8 more hours. Open and enjoy your yogurt. Seriously. The biggest problem you will have with this is finding enough small towels.