The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Homemade Yogurt

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Description

Making your own yogurt is so ridiculously simple and tastes absolutely divine. You may never go back to store-bought again.

Ingredients

  • 5-½ cups Milk
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream
  • 4 Tablespoons Plain Yogurt As Starter

Preparation

Note: Cook time is only about 30 minutes, but after that, the yogurt has to incubate for anywhere from 7 to 12 hours, depending on how firm you like your yogurt.

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk and heavy cream to around 180 degrees, or almost to a boil. You may stir occasionally, but stir gently. I’ve noticed that the more I stir, the tarter the resulting yogurt.

(Is ‘tarter’ a word? All of a sudden, it sounds strange to me.)

2. Once the milk/cream mixture reaches the desired temperature, take the pan off the heat and let it cool to 110 degrees. You can speed this up by putting the pan in a bowl of cold or ice water.

3. In a small bowl, transfer a few tablespoons of the cooled milk. Gently stir in the plain yogurt starter (you can use yogurt from your most recent batch, or just any plain, unflavored yogurt from the store).

4. Pour yogurt mixture back into the saucepan, and stir once or twice to evenly distribute the yogurt.

5. Strain the mixture and pour into individual containers, or a few larger ones.

6. Now the yogurt needs to incubate at about 90-110 degrees to get the culture going. This can take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. You can use a yogurt maker, or:

a. Use a cooler, wrapping the yogurt container(s) in towels. In the cooler, leave one or two large bottles filled with hot water to keep the interior of the cooler warm.

b. If it’s warm enough outside, you can simply leave the yogurt sitting out.

c. If you have a gas oven, you can leave the yogurt inside your oven with the pilot light on.

7. Once the yogurt is done (if it looks firm enough for you, it’s done – but don’t be jiggling it unnecessarily, else the yogurt will remain loose), move it to the refrigerator and allow it to set for a few more hours.

I make this all the time. I like to use whole milk for my yogurt, but you can use low-fat if you prefer. If, like me, you like your yogurt thick, you can add 3 to 5 tablespoons of powdered milk to the milk while it is heating up. Don’t try to make a thicker yogurt by adding more yogurt starter. The yogurt needs room to grow.

Another variation I love is to replace some of the milk with coconut milk (anywhere from 1 to 2 cups, but you can do more if you’d like). Makes for an extra-decadent yogurt.

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SouthernMommyM on 3.11.2010

I’ve used an electric heating pad to help keep mine warm. The type of heating pad one would lie on for muscle pain.
Be sure to watch the temp & not let it get too hot, or cold.
The temp range posted in the recipe is very important or the healthy bacteria swimmys in it will die & then no good yogurt.

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staceyinmn on 3.10.2010

I love homemade too. I have found that the type/taste of plain yogurt you use as a starter affects the taste of the homemade batch, too. If you have a favorite store-bought with live active cultures, use that as your starter. Thanks for the easy instructions!

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ivoryhut on 8.25.2009

Cedens, you don’t have to add the cream. I like my yogurt extra rich, but you can definitely skip the cream. Just use low fat milk, and if you want it thicker, add more powdered skim milk.

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ivoryhut on 8.12.2009

Hey, teammegryan! What I do to sweeten my yogurt is add simple syrup to it. My aunt sometimes adds a touch of fruit jam for a sweeter and fruitier flavor. But I’m guessing you can just use your preferred sweetener.

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cedens on 7.29.2009

do you have to add the cream? is there a low fat version?

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