Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Thick, Creamy Homemade Yogurt
Over the past few years, I've made a lot of things from scratch that I used to buy from the store. From salad dressings to spice mixes, ketchup, mayonnaise, salsas, syrups, peanut butter and jams. There is an entire shelf in our refrigerator filled from jars of sauces, spreads, and dips that I used to buy from the store and I now make at home. Once you've shaken together a jar of your own salad dressing, it's a slippery delicious slope towards making your own barbecue sauces and marinades. Next thing you know you'll be trying your hand at yogurt! (This yogurt is so thick and scoop-able, I can turn the jars over without spilling a drop of yogurt.)
My sister started making yogurt for her family a few months ago and she told me countless times that yogurt was one of the easiest things ever to make. Then, a couple months ago, I was chatting with my friend Rebecca and I told her I was thinking about buying a yogurt maker. She told me to try making the yogurt in my dehydrator first. (I had completely forgotten that was an option with the dehydrator I already had.) Thanks to them both for the encouragement, I've been making yogurt every week for a while now.
If you do not have a dehydrator or a yogurt maker, there are a number of alternative methods. You can use your oven, a crock-pot, a heating pad or plate, a warm spot in the house, even an electric blanket! I usually double or quadruple this recipe and make 1/2 a gallon to a full gallon of yogurt at a time.
How To Make Yogurt In The Dehydrator
Yield: (8) 1/2 cup servings
4 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon yogurt *
Optional stir-ins: maple syrup, honey, jams, jellies, vanilla extract
Bring the milk to 190 degrees over medium heat, remove from the heat and allow the milk to cool to 110 degrees, this takes from 30-45 minutes in my kitchen most of the time. Stir in the yogurt. Pour through a strainer into a pitcher and pour into jars.
Place in the dehydrator for 10 hours at 105 degrees. Alternatively, the yogurt can be finished in a yogurt maker for 8 hours. (Process according to the manufacturer's directions.) At the end of the warming time, chill in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
If your jars have a little bit of whey (or watery liquid) in the top, just stir it into the finished yogurt right before eating. Sweeten to taste with honey, maple syrup, fruit jams or jellies. I like to add a tiny splash of vanilla extract as well. Enjoy!
* You really do not need more yogurt than a tablespoon per quart of milk. The more yogurt you add, the more tangy the resulting yogurt will be. Additional yogurt won't thicken the yogurt more, it will simply affect the flavor.
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