Yogurt

Milking twice a day has led to an over-abundance of milk. Not that I’m complaining. (Well…maybe a little…especially when it comes to washing the tote twice!) In a household of six one can never have too much milk, but lately my generous Jersey has provided us with more than we can handle: the fridge is literally bursting with milk! Five gallons to be exact.

So when I opened the fridge this morning to put away yet another gallon of warm, freshly strained milk I knew it was time to make yogurt. Jersey milk makes the best yogurt too: thick, rich and oh so creamy!

Of all the dairy products I think yogurt is the easiest to make. It requires only a minimal amount of time and effort on your part and then is set aside for a period of 8 to 10 hours to ripen. A shorter inoculation results in a softer, milder-flavored yogurt while a tangier, thicker yogurt is the product of a longer ripening period. (Once I left my yogurt sitting for more than 12 hours, and it was WAY too sour to eat. 😛 That batch went to the chickens..hey, at least they got their probiotics.)

So having said all this, and having had some success with it myself, I thought I’d post a tutorial on how to make yogurt. Ready? Set? Let’s get started!

Here are the supplies you will need to make yogurt:

  • 8 quart stock pot, or one that will hold 1 gallon of milk
  • 1 gallon of milk
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • 1 cup starter yogurt – I use Stonyfield Oiksos Greek yogurt, as it contains 5 live cultures
  • 4 cup measure
  • Whisk, ladle, spoons, and a thermometer

To begin I poured one gallon of whole raw milk in an 8 quart stock pot.

I then heated it to 185*, stirring frequently to prevent scorching on the bottom and so the milk would warm evenly. (I use a digital thermometer – you can see it on the back of the stove). Once the temp reached 185* I held it there for 10 minutes.

I then quick-cooled it (filled the kitchen sink with cold water and set the pot in the sink, stirring constantly to release steam) to 120*. Once it reached 120* I returned the pot to the stove burner.

After measuring one cup of store-bought Greek Yogurt I dumped it into my 4 cup glass mixer. I then ladled several cups of milk into it and whisked it up till there were no lumps of yogurt. Then I poured this mixture, stirring gently,  into my gallon of milk, which by this time had cooled down to 115*.

I removed one pint of milk to use as a starter for my next batch of yogurt and then added: 2/3 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisked thoroughly till the sugar had all dissolved.

That done I ladled the remaining milk into 3 honey jars – they hold about 4 cups each. Screwed on the lids and transferred them to our Coleman cooler. Then I filled the cooler with hot tap water till the water reached well up the sides of the jars, making sure though that it didn’t go past the lids. The last thing I wanted was watery yogurt after all this work!

Eight hours of inoculation resulted in a very beautiful, thick, yogurt with a little “frosting” of very yellow cream on top. 🙂 And it is soooo delicious!

Serve plain or with slices of fresh fruit or a favorite jam. My favorite way to eat yogurt is with a 1/4 cup of homemade granola…what a perfect start to the day! MmmmMmmm!

Enjoy

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