Instead of new years resolutions I make a to-do list. Not that I don't have things I should make resolutions about, but a do list makes more sense to me than a don't do list. I don't like rules. (I was unfortunately given some bad advice by a boss that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission... it's failed me many times, but I digress)
Number one of the list this year is to learn more about photography and shooting more pictures in manual. Also to learn a photo editing software... after my failed attempts at photoshop, I'm doing OK with the nikon software that came with the new camera. Also on the list is learning to make yogurt and bagels. I already attempted cheese this year and it's been a new favorite treat since. Still remaining on the list for future years is making soap.
In the past few years it's been making homemade pretzels, learning to can, learning to quilt, sewing with zippers, learning to read a crochet and knit pattern. Learning about gardening remains an ongoing goal.
Anyway, lets make some yogurt. I used organic whole milk, but I've read that you could use 2% or skim. But I thought I'd go for it this time, hoping for some rich creamy yogurt. Might as well use organic though. I used the crockpot method, but used some of the yogurt making scientific facts I was reading about (sources at the bottom) to speed it along.
Brink milk to 185 degrees. I used one glass shy of a half gallon. From what I read, you can use whatever amount of milk you want and just alter the amount of starter, but this part can be an estimate. (One recipe suggested 3 hours on low heat would bring it to this, but I cranked it to high and watched the temp. It still took 2 1/2 hours.) Those bubbles aren't boiling bubbles, this pictures is right after I poured in the milk and it was still bubbly on top.
Turn off the heat and bring the temp down to 110 degrees. (The crockpot recipe I found said to unplug for three hours, but I unplugged and removed the crock from the pot and watched the temperature closely. It took 1 hour this way.) I threw a piece of cheese cloth over the top (you never know what flying objects could be around at my house) and let it sit out.
Then you add the started or 'pitch.' You can use a store bought yogurt culture starter, 1/4 cup homemade yogurt or 1/4 cup plain store bought yogurt. I went with store bought organic stonyfields farm plain yogurt. Add to warm milk and stir well.
Now it sits for 7 hours at a warm temperature. This is where it got fuzzy. There are multiple methods for this: a heating pad under a covered pot with a towel thrown on it, a store bought yogurt maker, or a warm crockpot wrapped in towels. I went with the crockpot/towel method.
7 hours later: Spoon out 1/4 c plus starter for next time and refrigerate that. Spoon the rest of creamy yogurt in to serving sized containers or a larger sealed container. Refrigerate. This is plain yogurt, but you can add whatever good toppings when you are ready to eat.
You could add sugar to the whole lot, but I read that the sugar breaks down some of the healthy good stuff in yogurt if it sits in there. Makes sense.
We aren't used to eating plain yogurt. We like vanilla best. I added about 2 t of maple syrup and it was sweet enough that no one complained.
We've also been adding some homemade granola. This morning we added fruit.
The verdict? These photos speak for themselves.
Delish. Oh my goodness, I'll be making many more batches of this goodness. This will be awesome with homemade bagels.
I mainly references this web page: how to make yogurt and this blog post from Our Lives. They were both valuable sources for yogurt making knowledge.
I'm linking up to some of these fine parties.