My grandmother (maternal) always made her own yogurt. She used to buy fresh milk twice a week from a farmer neighbour and made her own yogurt which was thick and a bit on the sour side just as I like it.
Lately I had been reading a lot of articles and comments as to how store bought yogurt contains preservatives and how unhealthy those might be. I do not know if they are all true but, making yogurt for my grandma was such a simple job. I have inherited her liquid thermometer and I remembered at what temperature she used to put in the starter to her yogurt. That inspired me to trying my hand in making yogurt yesterday. Initially I was going to buy organic milk and organic yogurt for a starter but using expensive ingredients in an experiment did not make sense to my frugal side. I bought Daily Milk which is a bit expensive than the other type that comes in cartons and would last for weeks. I used regular store bought yogurt for a starter and it turned out to be a major success!
My yogurt tastes sweeter than my grandma's but it is still very good. So, next time I am going to use organic ingredients. After all, I need organic yogurt just once and after that, I will use my own yogurt to start the next batch. Since organic milk is on the expensive side, my homemade yogurt will not be frugal but it will be healthy. Being a yogurt monster, I deserve the best:)
Here is my recipe:
1 Lt. fresh milk (34 fl.ounces)
2-3 tablespoons yogurt
Mix the yogurt well and set it aside on a counter top in a small bowl. (It has to be at room temp when you need to use it)
Boil the milk while stirring it frequently so that the bottom of the pot doesn't get burnt. After the milk boils, keep stirring and boiling it down for another 5-10 minutes.
Take a thick and big towel lay it down some place that will not be disturbed at least 6 hours. Place a glass container in the middle of the towel. Pour in the hot milk in the glass container which has a lid but do not put the lid on just yet. Wait until the milk cools down to 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit). Take a few table spoons of the cooled milk into the yogurt bowl and mix it well and slowly add the yogurt milk mixture to the milk and mix well. Place a sieve on top the glass container instead of the lid and gather and wrap the towel around the glass container to keep it warm. My towel was not big so I used three kitchen towels to wrap my yogurt. I left it for 7 hours. After that, I unwrapped the towels and just put the lid on the glass container and put the yogurt in the fridge. It should stay in the fridge undisturbed for at least 4 hours to set well. I allowed mine overnight. That's what grandma used to do. So, you can make your own yogurt today to be eaten for tomorrow for just a little work.
I think I will be making most of my yogurt myself.
If it doesn't set, you can always boil it for 15 minutes and whey it out to get some sort of soft cheese so, it is really not wasted.
The heat of the milk may vary if you are living at sea level or at a high mountain level a bit. You may check that out on the Internet. I live pretty much at sea level.