is a culture of thermophilic microorganisms
(commonly Streptococcus thermophilus
and Lactobacillus bulgaricus
) in milk. The lactose
in the milk is coagulated
by the lactic acid
produced by the bacteria's digestive processes
Because it is only encouraging bacteria
to grow in something they really like, making your own yogurt at home is fairly simple. You have probably encouraged all kinds of microorganisms to grow in your refrigerator
without even trying
- mix the indicated amounts of sugar and salt per quart of milk you plan to use, and fill each jar not quite full but full enough, just so it looks about right
- place the jars into the saucepan, then fill the saucepan nearly full of water around the bases of the jars
- bring the water temperature up to 180oF or more (not boiling). Keep the temperature above 180oF until the milk has reached 180o and remains there for at least five minutes. do not stir. Especially do not stir with your hand.
- turn off the heat until the milk temperature drops below 140o (I add ice to the water, but that's because I'm impatient!)
- stir about a tablespoon of active culture or live culture-containing yogurt into each jar and mix well - if the milk's still too hot, you'll kill the nice little bacteria - so be careful!
- bring the water temperature up to somewhere between 130oF and 140oF, and maintain it there for 4-6 hours. For a milder yogurt, lean toward four hours, six hours will make a sharper-tasting yogurt.
If you keep out a portion
of the batch for the next time you plan to make yogurt, keep in mind that you will have to refresh your base culture with the storebought
yogurt every three to five times. The cultures drift
, and the taste becomes less pleasant - kind of like that expired stuff my wife makes me
I like to stir in more sugar or sweetener and a bit of vanilla
while the yogurt is still warm. When refrigerated
, you can drink this stuff for breakfast
and it is smoothly stupendous.