How to Make Your Own Homemade Yogurt

With a history, some say, of dating back to 6000 BC, yogurt has been enjoyed by cultures for ages. In our modern times, it seems every time I go to the grocery store, there is a new manufacturer and/or variety available. All of them, except for the plain variety, contain an excessive amount of sugar. There also are a variety of other items, which take away from the true taste. Have you ever wondered how to make your own homemade yogurt? It is easier than you think.

This recipe will be good for a one-quart, or four cup, batch of yogurt. The items and equipment you will need are as follows:

�· Four one-cup glasses. It is important that they be very clean and dried. And, to emphasize, they need to be glass. Plastic cups will not work. To make it simpler, the size is found between juice glass and tall glass. Set aside the glasses for now.
Or�. simply use a one-quart glass container. Pyrex is my personal favorite.
�· Clean Towels
�· One-quart saucepan
�· Yogurt maker, oven, or heating pad. (For incubating)
* Yogurt maker. Plug it in when you start the yogurt making process. Let it warm up before using it.
* Oven: Turn it on low for about five minutes, just to warm the oven. Turn it off. Do not open the door yet.
* Heating pad: Turn onto the medium setting. Keep turned on.

Now, for the ingredients:
1-quart milk,
1-cup plain yogurt (with active cultures�be sure you have this)

1) Pour the milk into the saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir. Bring to boiling point. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes. It should be bubbling lightly. Stir thoroughly to prevent sticking.

2) Remove from heat and let cool until just warm to the touch. This is around 110 degrees F.
3) While the milk is cooling, put one tablespoon of the plain yogurt into each glass. Or, put the entire one-cup plain yogurt into your one-quart glass container. This plain yogurt is known as your starter.
4) When the milk is cooled, simply pour into each glass or into the one-quart glass container. Do not stir.
5) Either: * put glasses in yogurt maker, on heating pad, or in oven.
6) * put container on heating pad or in oven. Do not open oven again until yogurt is done incubating.
7) I cover the container (and/or glasses) with plastic wrap, but it’s not required.
8) Cover the container (and/or glasses) with towels. Or, if your glasses have lids (like in a yogurt maker), use those.

Now the incubation process begins. You can incubate your yogurt anywhere from 4 to 12 hours. The longer it incubates, the thicker and tarter it becomes. I have found that 6-7 hours makes a wonderfully sweet, yet not too sweet, yogurt. The creaminess is superb at this time span.

If none of the above methods appeal to you, you can also incubate (thicken) your yogurt by simply covering the container and putting it into a warm, undisturbed place. This works great in warmer weather climates.

Store your finished yogurt in the refrigerator. Be sure to save one cup of your yogurt to be used as starter for your next batch. See how economical and healthy it can be to make your own homemade yogurt?

NOTE: I recommend you use at least 2% milk your first time making yogurt. This will make a great starter. Next time, you can use nonfat milk and add dried nonfat milk. The lower your fat percentage, the more nonfat dry milk you will need to add.

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