Use your intuition to make this beautiful, simple recipe
I believe homemade yogurt is one of the most beautiful, simple recipes you'll ever learn how to make. The process of making homemade yogurt is slightly intuitive; you'll get a feeling for how it all comes together the more you make it. Tap into your maternal instincts and watch this baby come to life.
Sweet vs. Tangy
What I've discovered, is that the first batch of homemade yogurt results in a dessert-like sweetness. This is because there's a "newness" to the cultures that require a little mothering before they mature. You'll likely detect that creamy, buttery consistency of unpasteurized raw milk. In this case, I like to eat it right out of the jar, or use it in a face mask recipe.
The second and third batches deliver that tanginess you want to achieve when making homemade yogurt. Personally, I prefer yogurt this way because it's neutral enough to be an ingredient in, or a side to, savory meals. And, it can be sweetened any time with local organic raw honey or pure maple syrup, jam, or lemon curd.
The Goddess of Cultures
I loved learning about the history of butter in the book, Bread & Butter. Its history is rich with folklore, cultural traditions, and was even considered a rare commodity, making butter a privileged luxury. Basically, butter was an accident that only certain regions were able to make.
Thanks to the waddling nature of donkey bottoms, butter exists to satiate our palates, contributing to our enthusiasm for life! Raw milk was transported inside leather sacks to nearby villages for a variety of dairy productions. Unbeknownst to the farmer, the sloshing motion churned that milk into a thick, spreadable cream.
Probably, after days of traveling, the farmer was disappointed to find that his precious milk agitated itself into a weird, fatty clump; until he spread that clump onto a piece of fresh bread! (Cue the salt.)
I believe that yogurt is a refined production of another ancient milk accident. Consequentially, humanity was gifted with the perfect probiotic for skin and gut health, crowning woman the Goddess of Cultures. Get a taste of that.
So, babe, I'll let you in on a few secrets that will get you intuiting how to make homemade yogurt in just 24 hours. If you think this couldn't be more simple, you can prepare Anne's Turkish Yogurt Soup in 25 minutes!
Homemade Yogurt · NOURISHES again & again
for the yogurt
non-homogenized whole milk (I use Straus Creamery or Alexandre, cream tops)
1. Heat milk* over medium heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Do not stir.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low (or low) and gently simmer for 15 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure the milk doesn't boil over.**
3. Remove the hot milk from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
4. When the milk is still hot (but cool enough to hold the tip of your pinky finger for 6 to 7 seconds below the surface), pour it into jars, leaving an inch of space from the top.
5. Using a wooden spoon (not metal!), stir 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of leftover yogurt (the thick last bits at the bottom of the container) into each jar until fully combined.
6. Cover each jar with cheesecloth and tighten with a rubber band or mason jar lid without the seal. Do not use an airtight lid as the milk must breathe in order to cool into yogurt.
7. Place yogurt jars into a small casserole dish, covering with a small blanket or dish towels to insulate, and set in a cold oven with the pilot light on*** for 8-10 hours, or overnight.
8. Remove the coverings and check that you have indeed produced yogurt. The consistency should be thick and not sloshing around. Be careful to not disrupt the yogurt before refrigerating.
9. Refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight. A general rule is that if you want yogurt to be ready by morning, prepare the morning before. If you want yogurt to be ready for dinner, prepare after dinner the night before. Give your yogurt 24 hours to set.
Do not stir your yogurt in the jar. Scoop into small ramekins for serving, spooning some of the yogurt liquid into each dish. Alternatively, eat right out of the jar! Use in recipes that you would normally use yogurt. Stir yogurt once it's in a serving dish so that the original product remains as natural as possible.
*You cannot make yogurt with homogenized or ultra-pasteurized milk. The heating process for pasteurization removes any naturally occurring bacteria in the milk, rendering it useless for binding into a healthy solid product. Look for "vat pasteurized" non-homogenized cream top whole milk.
**The milk may create a dome-like bubble while it simmers in the pot. This, and the natural milk film that occurs, is normal and an indication that you're making
magic yogurt. Just be sure the bubble doesn't pass the brim of the pot to avoid an unwanted mess.
***The yogurt must rest in a warm, undisturbed place. My mother-in-law places a tray of recycled glass jars, wrapped in blankets, either on top of a cabinet in her kitchen in the summer, or in another room that is sure to be kept warm during winter.
Lastly: Save the last tablespoon or so for your next batch of yogurt! The cultures and probiotics cultivated in homemade yogurt is like the "glue" and the most important bacteria for future yogurt production. Enjoy intuiting how to make homemade yogurt // may it nourish you again & again.