Yoghurt is one of those things that is not only much cheaper to make at home, but is also quite easy to make. If you do decide to try making yoghurt at home I highly suggest that you invest in a food thermometer to make sure you get good yoghurt results every time. Also, as with most things in cooking, good quality ingredients are essential to a good product.
If, like me, you are fortunate enough to have access to some ahimsa milk from cows that are happily grazing outside, then this milk makes the absolute best yoghurt. However, any good quality organic milk will do quite a good job. You do need to buy some yoghurt or some yoghurt cultures in order to make yoghurt at home. I usually purchase a little pot of good quality, organic plain yoghurt which is readily available at shops nearby.
You can take the short cut and purchase a yoghurt maker, which controls all of the temperatures and timing, but it isn’t necessary. I prefer this simpler method, rather than have yet another electrical device taking up space in my kitchen.
1/2 gallon of good quality organic milk
1 cup quality organic yoghurt
1. Pour the milk into a thick bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. It may seem to take a while, but heating it too quickly increases the chance of burning all of your lovely milk.
2. When milk boils turn off the heat and remove from stove. Using your thermometer allow the milk to cool to 110 F.
3. Only when it reaches the ideal temperature, add the yoghurt and stir to mix well and cover. Place the mixture in a warm place (at least 70 F) and leave for approximately 6 hours.
4. At this point the milk should have turned to yoghurt and can be placed in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
A few tips:
*If your house is cold, you can heat your oven slightly and then place the milk in there to turn.
*You could also wrap some towels around your milk container to keep it warm.
*Be sure your milk is not colder or hotter than 110 F, or the resulting yoghurt will not be as nice in texture and taste.
*I sometimes let my milk rest at a couple degrees hotter than 110 F if I know the yoghurt I am adding is coming just out of the refrigerator.