If it is your first time making cheese or yogurt, you may want to try yogurt first because it is a bit easier to get right and unlike hard cheese you don’t have to wait 3-6 months just find out you have been making it all wrong…opps. The other thing is, you do not need a lot of equipment here but you will need the following:
1gallon on milk
¼ cup plain yogurt (This will be your starter.)
Powdered milk (optional)
I like this yogurt recipe because I don’t have to make a special order on-line or stop at a specialty store to pickup the starter. I can just grab the starter while I am at the grocery store. Make sure that you only use PLAIN yogurt, though. (Lucerne is a good brand.) Plain yogurt has the active bacteria needed to make the milk setup.
Heat the milk to 180 degrees F. Stir the milk while it’s heating so that it won’t burn.
While the milk is heating, fill your kitchen sink about half full with cold water. Once the milk has reached the correct temperature, set the milk (which is in the cooking pot) into the sink. Cool the milk down to 110 degrees F. in the winter months and to 106 degrees F in the summer months.
Working quickly, whip together the ¼ cup plain yogurt (starter) with 2 cups of the heated milk. Then mix thoroughly into the rest of the heated milk. Stir into the heated milk about a ¼ cup powdered milk. Mix well.
Pour into a clean gallon container. I like to use the glass gallon jars that pickles or other condiments come in. Just be sure that your container has no off-smell to it, the off-smells will give your yogurt an off-taste.
Wrap the gallon container in a heavy towel or small blanket. And leave it on the kitchen counter for 4 to 6 hours to incubate. Do NOT place in a cool place or in a draft.
When 4 hours are up, check to see if the yogurt has setup yet. If not, wrap it up again and check in a hour or so. When the yogurt is set, place in the refrigerator. You can reserve ¼ cup of your freshly made yogurt for your next batch. This will work for several batches and then you will need to buy fresh plain yogurt from the store again because the 3rd and 4th batches will become a bit more runny.
You do NOT have to use powdered milk to have a nice tasting yogurt. All the powdered milk does, is make the yogurt a bit more creamy. Your yogurt will still be good without it. At times, I have increased the amount of powdered milk that I have added to the recipe. It all depends on how creamy you want your yogurt to be.
Another thing that I have done, is to add the whole container of plain yogurt from the store to my heated milk. I have done this when I didn’t want an extra container sitting in my fridge. The yogurt still turns out the same and tastes great.
© Copying 2008-2010 All Rights Reserved Content & Photos By www.cheesemakingrecipe.com Joyann Mast