Yogurt is so delicious and tasty making most people to hardly walk out of the supermarket or shop without buying a packet of yogurt. Have you ever thought of making yogurt at home? Well, making yogurt at home is economical, fun, and easy and it also has so many advantages. Yogurt has good bacteria that helps reduces food allergies, boost your immunity and also helps your digestive system. We therefore decided to provide you with easy steps on how to make yogurt.
We bet that there is nothing more gratifying than making a mild-tasty drink of your own. Read on the easy way to make yogurt.
How to make yogurt at home
There are many ways of making yogurt. Most people this days prefer the homemade yogurt as it is fresh and they have made it themselves from scratch. Yogurt has many health benefits and that is why it is advisable to take at least a glass a day. We have given instructions on how to make that tasty yogurt at home. Follow through the instructions to be an expert.
Ingredients for making fresh yogurt
- ¼ gallon Milk – Incase you have ‘ultra-high pasteurized/UHP/UHT’ milk do not heat. This is because it has the right temperature; skip the first step.
- I/4 cup of non-fat milk that is dry – it is optional
- Enough salt – optional
- A tablespoon of white sugar – it is used to feed bacteria.
- 2 tablespoons of freeze-dried bacteria or existing bacteria that has live cultures.
- 2 large pots – They should fit inside each other.
- A thermometer that ranges from 100 to 212ºF
- Clean containers
- A yogurt maker
Procedure of making yogurt at home
Step 1: Heat the milk to 85ºC or 185ºF
Create a double boiler with your 2 large pots, pour your milk in, and place it on heat directly. The double boiler will prevent the milk from burning. Stir the milk occasionally and monitor it until it is 85ºC. If you do not have a thermometer, you should wait for the milk to begin frothing.
Note that any milk can make yogurt such as whole milk, non-fat, soybeans, homogenized, 1 percent, cow milk, goat milk, 2 percent, pasteurized, raw, dry powered, and organic milk. Before the ultra pasteurized milk is sealed, it is usually processed to high temperatures meaning that you do not have to heat it; skip the step.
Step 2: Cool the milk to 43ºC or 110ºF
Cooling your milk with cold-water is the best option. This is because it is even and very quick to lower the milk temperature. Note that you should occasionally stir the milk while cooling. In case you cool the milk at room temperature or maybe in the fridge, the stirring should be more frequent. Keep in mind that you should not proceed with the next step if the milk is not below 49ºC/120ºF and not below 32ºC/90ºF. It can also be at an optimal temperature of 43ºC or 110ºF.
Step 3: Warm your starter
What is the starter? It is that bacteria that you will add to your milk. You should know that the starter will cultivate more bacteria, which is very vital and necessary for yogurt making. What you should do is, to let your starter yogurt to be at room temperature while your milk is cooling. This will definitely prevent the milk from being below the needed temperature when adding the starter yogurt.
Yoghurt making requires good bacteria. If you want the best way, then add the existing yogurt. Purchase unflavored yoghurt with an active cultures label. You can also make your yoghurt with freeze-dried bacteria; in fact, it is a reliable starter.
Step 4: Add reduced fat, non-fat, or dehydrated milk
If you want to boost the nutritional content of your yogurt, then add a cup of dry milk. It will also enable your yogurt to thicken quick and easy. For best results, use non-fat milk.
Step 5: Add starter to your milk
We believed that your starter is already warm, add two (2) tablespoon of either freeze-dried bacteria or existing yogurt. Now, stir the mixture thoroughly using either a blender or a whisk. Note that your mixture should not have stringy ropes. In case it has stringy ropes, then it means that you are heating the milk too long or fast, which is scalding. Use your double broiler and stir it frequently while checking the temperature.
Step 6: Put your mixture into containers
Put your mixture into clean containers and cover them tightly with either a plastic wrap or a lid. Some inclined people, use the bell jars though it is not necessary.
Step 7: Incubate your yogurt bacteria
To incubate your yoghurt bacteria, you have to keep it warm. Doing that will encourage the growing of the bacteria. Ensure that the temperature is about 38ºC or 100ºF as possible. Note that the longer you incubate your mixture, the thicker and more tangy your yoghurt will be. You should also have in mind that jiggling the mixture will make it to take long to incubate. For about 7 hours, the mixture will have a cheesy odor, custard-like texture, and maybe top greenish liquid.
Step 8: Pick your preferred way for incubating the yogurt
A number of ways are available for incubating yoghurt. Ensure that you remember to keep the temperature of your yoghurt consistent. Which is the best method for making your yoghurt? Well, most prefer to use yoghurt maker. Here are ways on how to use a yoghurt maker.
Do you have an oven? You can use that oven pilot pen for making yogurt at home. You can also preheat your oven, turn it off, and then place the yogurt. Ensure that you maintain the temperatures by turning the oven on more periodically. Note that this method is a bit tricky because the yogurt does not get hot. If the oven has bread-proofing settings, then turn it on.
There also other methods such as using settings of a rice cooker, food dehydrating, lowest settings of crock pot, or set low heating pad. In addition, if you lack any of the methods mentioned, worry less; you can heat the yogurt from a sunny window or maybe place it in a car that is in direct sun. The best temperature for the yogurt should be below 49ºC or 120ºF and not below 32ºC or 90ºF. Some people even place the yogurt in a sink with warm water or even a large bowl of warm water.
Step 9: Choose your yogurt maker
Today, you can find several yogurt makers sold in retail shops. If you want to make the best yogurt then you have to opt on using a yogurt maker. This is because it makes the yogurt bacteria incubation to be safest as well as timeless. Most people purchase the ‘untimed resistance heated’ yogurt makers due to their low cost. The major reason as to why they are very cheap is that they lack control over the required temperature to incubate the yogurt bacterial properly.
Another type of yogurt maker is referred to as ‘temperature regulating’ yogurt maker. These yogurt makers are a bit more costly due to their need for electronic components in order to have control over the temperature settings. The ‘temperature regulating’ yogurt makers are categorized into two types. One of the types has an optimal temperature that is usually maintained and controlled regardless of the environment. The best part of this type of yogurt maker is the fact that you can adjust the temperatures. The other type combines various features making it a good option as well.
Step 11: Place your containers with the mixture in the yogurt maker
Here you should ensure that the containers are well spaced out. Also, ensure that the containers are standing straight.
Step 12: Cover the yogurt maker with the containers
You should cover the containers to have control over the temperatures and to keep it heated. Covering will also allow the yogurt bacteria to thrive as well as grow.
Step 13: Check your yogurt to ensure that it has already firmed up
After some time, the yogurt will firm up. All this depends on the bacterial strains, the food that is available in the daily products, as well as the temperature. The incubation can take 2 -12 hours depending on the yogurt maker that you are using. Note that long time incubation will make the bacteria to grow and form a digestible firm yogurt.
Step 14: Remove the yogurt containers from the yogurt maker
If your yogurt is firm enough, then remove the containers from the yogurt maker, and place it in a fridge to cool. Note that you should be sure that it is ready by even jiggling a container. If it moves, then the yogurt is not ready yet.
Step 15: Final touches on how to make yogurt at home
Strain your yogurt via the cheesecloth to give it a thick consistency. Make sure that the colander catches the whey that is supposed to be a very thin yellowish liquid. Now, cover the colander and place the yogurt in a fridge for hours before you serve.
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How to make yoghurt is easy and fun. Right? You can add your desired flavorings to your yoghurt to make it more tasty and fancy. Some of the flavorings include jams, ice-cream fudges, canned pie fillings, and maple syrup. Incase you want flavorings that are healthier; you can add fresh fruits that have or lack sugar.