Home Made Yogurt

This recipe comes from an article in the New York Times by food scientist and writer Harold McGee, The Curious Cook.  It’s easy to make, it’s much better than anything you can buy and it costs a fraction of what commercial yogurt costs. You won’t want to settle for anything else once you’ve tasted this.

Home Made Yogurt

1 quart 2% milk
2 T. plain commercial yogurt (any kind of commercial yogurt will work)

1. Heat milk in a saucepan to 180 to 190 degrees. (It should just be steaming and beginning to form bubbles)

2. Remove milk from heat and allow to cool to 115 to 120 degrees. (It will feel very warm but not hot)

3. Place the 2 T. of yogurt into a bowl and add a bit of the warm milk. Stir to dissolve the yogurt and add the remaining milk. Cover and keep warm until it sets, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

There are several ways to keep the yogurt warm. You can wrap several towels around the bowl and place it in a draft-free place, or put it in a turned-off oven with the light on.

Harold said it will set up in 4 hours, but Kaye kept hers in the oven overnight and it turned out perfectly.

Kaye and I experimented with both whole milk and 2 % milk. The yogurt made with the 2% milk was a bit less thick than the whole milk version. I took the 2% yogurt and made Greek-style yogurt, which is thicker than regular, following Harold’s suggestion to spoon the fresh yogurt into a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth (a paper coffee filter works too), set it over a bowl and let drain an hour or so. This results in a thick, creamy yogurt that tastes much richer than it actually is, and can be used in all sorts of recipes. For more information, go to Harold’s article in the link above.

WW points for 1 cup of low fat yogurt: 3