Appalachia Appalachian Food

Making Yogurt Is Easy

All the comments left on the Bonnie Clabber post got me to thinking of other ways folks use milk to make do. There’s butter and all manner of cheeses that can be made with milk. Another money saving way I use milk is to make yogurt.

When the girls were babies, their pediatrician suggested I feed them yogurt do to some reflux issues they had. They loved it and as they grew older, yogurt became one of their must have foods. They became notorious for their unusual way of eating it. They basically smeared it on anything else that was served.

Back in those days I knew people made their own yogurt, but never got around to trying it myself. About a year or so ago I stumbled upon this recipe and it seemed so easy I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve been making it ever since.

You need:

  • 1 gallon of whole milk
  • 1 cup yogurt starter (you can buy starter or you can use a small cup size plain yogurt you buy at the store – just make sure it has live cultures in it)
  • Sugar to taste (optional)
  • Vanilla to taste (optional)
  • thermometer
  • canning jars, rings, lids
  • cooler


Pour the milk into a heavy sauce pot-and heat to 185-195 degrees (Fahrenheit).

While the milk is heating-take 4 canning jars along with the lids and rings-and boil them in water-to sterilize them.

Once the milk reaches the right temperature-take it off the heat and sit the pot in a sink full of cold water. Allow the milk to cool to 120-130 degrees.

After the milk has cooled, add your yogurt starter, and if you’re using sugar and vanilla add it too. Mix well.

 

Now-pour the mixture into the sterilized jars. The texture will be better-if you take the time to get most of the little bubbles on top out.

Add your lids/rings and place the jars into a cooler. You’re supposed to heat a gallon of water to 120-130 degrees and add it to the cooler. Instead I run a little more hot water into the pot of water I sterilized the jars in and pour that into the cooler.

Shut the cooler and leave the jars in it for at least 3 hours. If I make yogurt in the evening I leave the jars overnight.


Remove the jars from the cooler and refrigerate.

A couple of notes:

  • I never liked yogurt much till I began to make it. The homemade is so much better. Not just the taste, but some how the texture is more appealing to me.
  • Miss Cindy makes a soft cheese by letting the yogurt drain over night in the frig. (she doesn’t add sugar or vanilla when making cheese)
  • You can add all sorts of things to the yogurt for flavor, things like fresh fruit, a spoonful of jelly, a squirt of chocolate syrup, or even a sprinkle of kool-aide powder.
  • You can halve the recipe and it still works great.
  • It seems to last longer than store bought yogurt. The recipe I used said at least 3 weeks if it’s not opened.
  • Once you make it the first time you can use a cup of your homemade yogurt as the starter in the recipe.
  • I use wide mouth jars if I can. It’s easier to pour the yogurt in and it’s easier to spoon it out.

Do you like yogurt? Have you ever made it?

Tipper

 

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Sandra Sarafian
    April 4, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Tipper, I just got around to reading this article about making yogurt. We always called the starter “the mother”. You always kept a little of the Mother from each batch of yogurt you made. Just like we keep a little of Mother in ourselves, right?

  • Reply
    SharonD
    February 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Wow I may have to try this. Sounds easy. Thanks Tipper.

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    February 22, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Tipper, I started making yogurt again a couple weeks ago. I used to make it by the gallons but now just a quart at a time. There’s nothing like it–and for my poor old man who can no longer have buttermilk, well he says homemade yogurt is the next best thing! I use the pilot light in my oven for heat–it’s perfect for the culturing process.

  • Reply
    Basketsbyrose
    February 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I will copy you how to make and give this a try. We love yogurt!

  • Reply
    Janet
    February 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I like yogurt, but have never made it. I like to add a few black walnuts, blueberries and sprinkles of cinnamon to vanilla yogurt.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Penny-never tried Kefir-but I’m about too. One of the great Blind Pig readers is going to send me some grains? to get started. Ill let you know how it goes : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Nancy-I’ve used several different brands-and they seemed to work well. Just make sure it says live active cultures on the container.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    kay
    February 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Tipper. Thanks for the yoghurt recipe. But I am still getting this amp;amp;amp; thing, and I am having trouble getting thru, and it keep cutting off, Thanks a lot, Kay

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    February 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I’ve made decent yogurt using dry milk powder but the best is what we have now — made with Jersey milk from our own cow.

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    February 21, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Yeah, that sounds simple all right! For you! I think I’ll just get mine at the grocery store!

  • Reply
    Stacey
    February 21, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I have seen many ways to make yogurt but it always seemed like such a long involved process. This seems easy, I’m going to give it a try soon.
    Stacey

  • Reply
    KGL
    February 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I’m going to try this with our goats’ milk.

  • Reply
    Sharon
    February 20, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I’m going to give this a go. We both love yogurt with homemade granola for breakfast and I’d love to add homemade yogurt instead of store bought.

  • Reply
    Shirley Owens
    February 20, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I’m just now learning to make my own Yogurt. I was wondering about eating it with other things that are not sweet. Thanks Anastasia, I would never have thought of cucumber, mint or garlic. Any other thoughts? I would love to know! I’ll be glad to use it instead of Sour Cream. Where can I get the culture necessary to start? I buy plain yogurt all the time at the store and stir in preserves, that’s really good.
    Tipper, Good subject! OK I’m hooked; I can’t go a day without reading Blind Pig. Have a great day.
    I sure do miss Spring in the mountains, Spring comes early here in Jay, FL, but it goes away too soon. It’s just not long enough wait like it is in NC to fully appreciate our Spring.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Janice- I’m sorry I didn’t say-yes it is quart size jars.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    B.-if you click on the link for the recipe I use-I think you’ll see in the comments-other folks use skim milk-but I’ve never tried it myself. Hop over there and see what they say about it : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Susie-you need to keep the fresh made yogurt warm while it works-so putting it in a cooler full of warm water is an easy way to do that. I use a regular cooler-like you put drinks in. I have read some folks put theirs in the oven on very very low heat-or heat the oven and then turn it off after putting the yogurt in it-but I’ve never tried that method.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    susie
    February 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    was wondering what do you mean by putting this in a cooler if you put hot water in it?& what kind of cooler do you use?never heard of this, but does look good, thanks.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    February 20, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Tipper,
    I used to make yogurt with whole milk, in a yogurt maker, years ago, but I was the only one here that really liked yogurt. We have been drinking skim milk for years so I would like to try your recipe with skim milk. I wonder if the fat change would make much of a difference in the taste or texture?
    To save money I would buy large containers of plain yogurt and scoop out and add my own flavorings or fruit when I quit making yogurt…
    Thanks Tipper…The pictures are great..especially the two little yogurts…:)

  • Reply
    Janice MacDaniels
    February 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Hi Tipper, great recipe – but one question… does this batch require 4 Quart size canning jars?

  • Reply
    Ken
    February 20, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Tipper,
    Seeing the Deer Hunter hold the
    gals brings back memories of my
    two, only they’re 7 years apart.
    The yogart stuff is supposed to
    be good for you I know, but I’m
    like a youngin’ trying to learn
    to chew ‘backer’, I never acquired
    a taste for it. But I love Butter-
    milk!…Ken

  • Reply
    Nancy @ A Rural Journal
    February 20, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I am definitely going to try this, Tipper. It looks relatively easy — I just need to get some live-culture yogurt. Do you have any suggestions? What kind do you use? Thanks for sharing this!

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    February 20, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I have made our own yogurt for years and years … from back when we lived on our farm, and milked goats, to nowadays when I even have to buy store bought milk. I have been using Greek yogurt for a starter for the past several years and it gives us a nice thick yogurt.
    I make lots of jams/jellies during the summer (from our own fruits), so we have a good variety of flavors.

  • Reply
    Penny
    February 20, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I was just wondering if you have tried kefir? It has so many pro-biotics. I would love to learn to make cheddar cheese with it. But haven’t found anyone that has explained it so I understand..lol..never made cheese before so I’m alittle dense about it. I did make cream cheese from kefir and it was so good. I enjoy your site alot. Still haven’t been able to read everything yet, but working on it.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    February 20, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I would like to try this-yogurt is so good for you. The girls are beautiful now and they were the prettiest babies.

  • Reply
    Sandra
    February 20, 2011 at 8:14 am

    love yougurt, never made it and will not since i hate all things under label of cooking. but i bet this is delish and am sure it would taste better than bought. i don’t make anything home made unless you consider stir fry home made. ha ha

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    February 20, 2011 at 7:56 am

    I love yogurt! I eat it everyday and I am going to try your recipe. I use it in place of sour cream with salt pepper and spices too. Yum

  • Reply
    elithea
    February 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

    i have been making it for decades: i still have my old “yogurt maker” from the 80s! (it’s nothing in the world but a hotplate with jar-sized depressions in it. I use powdered milk, too, cuz that way i’m not tempted to drink the entire gallon in one sitting (i love milk and can’t have it in the house!) as far as i know, the yogurt lasts indefinitely, not just three weeks–more like months and months, if it’s kept closed! i’m assuming that if one uses plain activia yogurt, which is that yogurt made for intestinal balancing, as a starter one keeps getting “activia” thereafter 🙂
    also? if you don’t have buttermilk? you can use this yogurt in cornbread and such as a replacement–does the same thing and you can always keep it on hand!

  • Reply
    GrannyPam
    February 20, 2011 at 6:57 am

    I used to all the time. I did it by pouring the mix into covered glass dishes, and setting them on a rack in my electric frying pan. I put a couple of inches of water in the pan and set it on low. I used dry skim milk, the kind you buy in a box and reconstitute, and it worked fine. Everyone needs to know that you need to buy a starter, or be sure that the yogurt you use for starter has live cultures. Not every brand does.

  • Reply
    Anastasia
    February 20, 2011 at 6:52 am

    It was great reading about a completely different way of making yoghurt!
    I can’t imagine a day without eating yoghurt. Greek yoghurt is famous all over the world and even though I’ve never made it myself, it’s always part of my daily eating habits. In Greece and Cyprus, we love tzatziki – that’s yoghurt with cucumber, mint and garlic which we usually eat with grilled meats or meze.
    I also love yoghurt as a dessert – I just mix honey and walnuts in plain yoghurt. Greek yoghurt is also great as a side dish!

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