Monday, January 13, 2014

Making Homemade Yogurt

We love yogurt in this house, especially my two young daughters.  My 5-year-old, Ella, would be completely happy eating nothing except yogurt.  My little toddler, Maggie, has been doing a great job of eating her yogurt with a spoon all by herself (although she still enjoys rubbing it though her hair on occasion... maybe this is her beauty secret!).  

As a proud penny-pincher, I wondered if I could make it myself for a lower cost and how hard it would be.  As it turns out, it's incredibly easy and about $0.30 per cup!  (Plus, I can control how much sugar goes in and we add our own organic fruits.)

I was given a Donvier Yogurt Maker as a gift and love it.  I know there are many other methods for making yogurt (after all, people have been making yogurt long before modern gadgets and electricity), but I really like how easy and fool-proof my Donvier is.  

Step 1:  Pour 4 cups (1 quart) milk into a pot and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.  When steam starts to rise off the surface and bubbles form around the edges of the pot, turn off the heat and insert the thermometer into the milk.  


Step 2:  The Donvier machine comes with a thermometer that tells you when to add the starter.  When the temperature drops to the correct point, add the starter (either 2 heaping tablespoons of plain, store-bought yogurt; leftover plain, homemade yogurt; or a special yogurt starter packet) and stir it in.  (At this point, I also add a heaping tablespoon of local honey and stir it until dissolved.)


Step 3:  Pour into the 8 cups that come with the machine and put the lids on.  Put the cups in the machine.  Set the machine's timer for 11 hours.  Basically, the Donvier machine does nothing more than keep the fermenting yogurt at the correct, constant temperature for the right amount of time.


Step 4:  Take the cups out and let them cool, then put in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.  Add fruit, vanilla, or sugar.




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