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Homemade Yogurt

I start with 2 quarts whole milk.  If you want to use lowfat milk, you can, but you might want to add some gelatin or powdered milk to it to give it a better consistency.  There is a chart in the Yogourmet Yogurt Maker instructions telling you how much gelatin or powdered milk to add per quart of milk.  You don’t have to add gelatin or powdered milk, but your yogurt will separate more and have a softer consistency if you don’t.

Put your milk in a pan and heat on medium/high until it reaches a temperature of 180 degrees.    Make sure you stir it so it doesn’t scorch.  Hold it at 180 for 2 minutes, then turn down the heat.  Let milk cool until it is 113 degrees then mix in at least 2 Tablespoons yogurt—I buy a single serving 6 oz cup of Brown Cow Plain (this brand tastes sweeter to us, instead of sour) or Stoneyfield Farms Plain and use the whole cup when I am starting a new batch.  Be sure the yogurt is thoroughly mixed—whisked—into the milk, then transfer it to the yogurt maker tub, put the lid on and put it in the yogurt maker, which you have already plugged in and added water to the tallest line (for 2 quarts). 

Put the lid on the yogurt maker and set a timer for 4 hours.  After 4 hours, check the yogurt by removing the tub and gently jiggling it back and forth.  It should all be set up by now and ready to refrigerate. 
Be sure to save a little bit of yogurt for your next batch.  I’m not sure how many times you can do this before getting a new starter.  I tend to use it about 4 times.  It has a stronger sour taste the more you reuse it. 

If you are in a hurry, or just impatient, like me, then you can fill your sink with an inch or two of cold water and add some ice.  When it’s time to cool the milk back down, set the pan in the ice bath and stir the milk.  Make sure you watch your thermometer and take it out of the ice bath at about 117 degrees because it will continue to cool very quickly this way.  The starter will get killed if you add it too soon and the milk is too hot.  If the milk is too cool, it will just take longer to turn into yogurt. 

Serve with any of the following: jam, vanilla paste, granola, fresh or frozen fruit.  Or use in smoothies.  Enjoy!

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