How To: Homemade Vanilla Yogurt

0003You can make yogurt in your own home for a fraction of the cost of the typical store-bought type. Doing so requires no special equipment, other than a thermometer. Other benefits include the lack of added preservatives, and there is no waste in packaging materials.

1    Basic ingredients are milk, a yogurt culture (or plain yogurt), dry milk powder, guar or xantham gum, and vanilla and sugar when making vanilla yogurt.

2     Bring 1 quart milk to 115° F.

3     Add 1/2 cup dry milk powder and 1/3 cup sugar.

4     Whisk in 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

5    Remove 1/4 cup of milk mixture and add 1/4 tsp. guar or xanthan gum to this. Whisk all back into the primary mixture.

6    Pour mixture into clean containers and cover. Incubate for 6-8 hours at 90-110° F. A Crock Pot on warm maintains the correct temperature for incubating.  

7     Other options: wrap the jar in towels and keep in the oven. Or keep in a pot of water at that temp, although this would require replacing the water every hour. Additionally a commercial yogurt maker will maintain the proper temperature.

8    Refrigerate the yogurt. Place the yogurt in your fridge for several hours before serving. It will keep for 1 to 2 weeks. If you’re going to use some of it as starter, use it within 5 to 7 days so that the bacteria still have growing power. You can use yogurt from this batch as the starter for the next batch though after several subsequent batches it will lose its efficacy. Serve the yogurt topped with your choice of fresh fruit or granola.