How to Make Yogurt
Yogurt contains live bacterial cultures such as Lactobacillus spp. that are very good for you. Making yogurt at home is easy, especially if you have an oven with a pilot light. You can also use an electric oven, but it's a bit more tricky as far as the incubation of the yogurt goes. To make yogurt you'll need a stainless steel saucepan, whisk or large spoon, a glass bowl or glass dish (no aluminum) that will hold one quart of liquid, and a gas or electric oven.
- One quart of milk (whole, 2%, or skim)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt with active acidophilus cultures (check the ingredient label)
1. Place the milk in a saucepan and heat on medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edge of the milk. This kills any "bad" bacteria in the milk.
2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the milk cool until you can dip you pinky finger in and count to ten.
3. Pour half the warm milk into the glass bowl. Add the yogurt and stir or whisk thoroughly. Add the rest of the milk.
4a. If you have a gas oven with a pilot light:
All you need to do is place the glass bowl with the milk in the oven and close the door. Leave in for about 8 hours (overnight). In the morning you will have perfect yogurt! But before you eat it, refrigerate the yogurt for several hours to set it.
4b. If you have an electric oven:
While the milk is cooling heat the oven to the warm setting for a two or three minutes at most. Open the door and check the temperature. The temperature should be warm but not hot. If it seems too hot, leave the door open for a few minutes.
Place the glass bowl containing the milk inside the oven and close the door. Check the mixture after 4 hours or so to make sure it's turning into yogurt. It should appear slightly thickened after several hours. If not turn the oven on again for a minute. Again the temperature shouldn't be too hot. Leave for another 4 hours or overnight.
5. Leaving yogurt longer than 8 hours doesn't affect it. When the yogurt is done, place it in the refrigerator for several hours to set.
6. Serve the yogurt plain, with honey (children younger than 12 months old should not eat honey), or with pureed fruit. Delcious!
P.S. Kids love the smooth creamy texture of homemade yogurt as well!
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