This is just one of the recipes included in my Simple Cheesemaking ebook. Follow the link to find more wonderful cheese recipes with easy to follow instructions and much more!
Because of the health benefits, I am always looking for ways to include probiotic foods in our diet. Since yogurt is something our family really enjoys, it is a natural choice. Once I discovered how easy it is to make, our consumption definetly increased! Yogurt is make from the fermentation of milk by bacterial cultures. These cultures produce lactic acid which works on the milk produce to make the characteristic texture and taste of yogurt. Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium are two commonly used cultures in the making of yogurt. Yogurt is rich in calcium, protein, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Even people who are lactose intolerant can often digest yogurt without any problems. According to Wikipedia:
Men and women who are lactose-intolerant can sometimes tolerate yogurt better than other dairy products, because the lactose in the milk is converted to glucose and galactose, and partially fermented to lactic acid, by the bacterial culture.
I have used purchased cultures from my affiliate, which you can find here, as well as, store-bought yogurt with active cultures as my starter. For larger batches, just remember to maintain the 1/2 c. starter per 1 gallon of milk ratio.
- 1 gallon whole, preferably raw
- ½ c cultured plain yogurt starter - See notes
- Heat milk over medium heat to 180F. Allow milk to cool to 115F - 120F. I place the pot of milk into a sink of cold water to speed the cooling process.
- Once the milk has cooled, add starter and stir well.
- Pour into sterilized jars. I sterilize my jars by placing ½" of water in each jar and microwave until the water boils. The steam from the boiling water sterilizes the jar. When removing jars from the microwave, be careful, they are hot!
- Wrap the jars in a bath towel and place in a warm, out of the way place for 6 - 12 hours. I wrap the jars, place them in an insulated cooler and leave overnight.
- Unwrap the jars and refrigerate. The yogurt will separate if not chilled before using.
- Save ½ c. to start your next batch.
After several batches, the culture may not be as strong and the consistency of the finished product may not be as thick. When this occurs, I simply start with a new culture.