Homemade Yogurt!

I recently received a yogurt machine for my birthday. Ever the appliance-a-holic, I was thrilled, and set to work last night following the very simple recipe for basic yogurt that was written in the instruction manual. I let it ferment six hours - not too tart, but not too mild… then put the container in the fridge overnight (it really only needed a couple of hours, but I was beat). I woke up this morning and took a taste.

WOW!

Bland (it’s just plain yogurt), but rich and thick and creamy! I started chopping up some fresh fruits and berries I had on hand, and put them all into separate jars I had handy., then mixed the yogurt into each Now I have a mason jar of peach, a mason jar of cherry, and a smaller jelly jar of strawberry. This stuff is to die for! What a difference fresh fruit and yogurt makes compared to the runny stuff I was buying at the store. I don’t think I can ever go back.

I did add a touch of sugar to the cherry yogurt, since they were a little tart themselves. The other two were sweet enough on their own.

What are your experiences with homemade yogurt? Did you use a simple machine, or develop your own method? Any unique and tasty recipes to share? I’ve only done simple chopped fruit so far, but the more I hunt in my cupboards, the more possibilities I see.

Yogurt lovers, unite!

I have no need for extra appliances, so I make mine in a steel Thermos. It’s a bit more work, but it makes a decent amount for my needs. What I eat fresh I’ll mix with just fruit and Grape Nuts. About half of it ends up being cooked into meals.
I have not yet, but plan to soon, make yogurt cheese – simply drain the yogurt using cheesecloth overnight or until firm. The consistency is somewhat like cream cheese.

I can hardly stand the stuff in the supermarket anymore. For one, I’ve always found nonfat yogurt utterly disgusting. But the texture of anything with pectin (or worse - gelatin), gets to me too.

I’ve been making my own yogurt for about 2 months ago, using a Salton yogurt maker. Here’s my yogurt recipe:

1 qt fat-free milk
3/4 powdered milk
6 oz plain Horizon yogurt or from previous batch

I mix the starter yogurt with about a cup of milk and mix the powdered milk in with the rest, then mix them all together and ferment them over night.

One tip I’ve recently discovered: the resulting yogurt is firmer and tarter if you let the starter yogurt come to room temperature before you start. I set mine on the counter about an hour before I’m ready to start.

I was actually going to post a thread about this but hadn’t gotten around to it. I’m looking for recommendations for flavoring it. So far, all I’ve made is a blueberry syrup type stuff to flavor it. I like mine sweet, so for every cup of frozen blueberries I use 1/4 of sugar, then cook the mixture for 45 minutes or so. I recently tried blending it with a stick blender, but I don’t like the consistency; it’s too thick and coarse.

I used to have a Salton yogurt maker - no idea what happened to it, but I used to love making my own. Maybe it’s time to get another one. mmmmmmmm

Let me also reiterate - you don’t need a yogurt maker. It comes out soooo yummy. Although I don’t use a thermos, either.

I, too, have a Salton yogurt maker. It was a surprise gift, and I didn’t even know you could make your own yogurt at home, let alone without a machine! After I got it, though, I looked up homemade yogurt on Google and found lots of folks don’t use a machine at all. Very, very cool.

I like the machine, but after reading about how people do it easily on their own, I see it’s really just a convenience thing: comes with it’s own plastic bucket for the yogurt, handy little scraper spoon-y dealie, and the little low heat unit, and little timer or something (I haven’t figured that part out yet, but it says it has a timer. I just figured “3am is 6 hours from 9pm” and went from there.) But I like it!

I’ve taste-tested them all, but now it’s time for a bowl of peach yogurt. Mmmm!

The store-bought yogurt that I’ve heard people refer to so far is the kind with fruit and junk in it. Can somebody tell me how the homemade yogurt compares to store-bought plain yogurt? I’ve thought about getting a yogurt-making machine, seeing as I go through at least a quart of plain yogurt a week, but have stopped and wondered if there would really be any benefit?

Mika, how do you make yogurt? All the non-yogurt-maker recipes I’ve seen require a pilot light, and my stove’s electric. I go through lots of yogurt, and I really want to make my own. I love Greek yogurt particularly- thick, creamy, and delivious either with herbs or with fruit.

Help?

Awesome, I just ordered a yogurt maker last week! I’m so excited. Isn’t here yet.

What is Greek yogurt, anyway? It’s so delicious - can I make it at home? How is it different? (And have you ever looked at the fat content on that stuff?! I don’t dare try the low fat, though, I like the fatty stuff so much. With honey.)

Well, I had to use store bought plain yogurt with live cultures as a starter for my homemade stuff, and I just went and tasted the two - some of my plain homemade stuff, and the plain storebought stuff (I bought the big tub in case I screwed something up, plus it’s good to have down the road when homemade starter gets weak). Anyway, I find the homemade stuff to be thicker, richer, and creamier than the storebought. The storebought stuff is a touch tarter than mine, but that’s all going to depend on how long you allow your homemade stuff to ferment anyway (I don’t like too tart, so I left mine in 6 hours - longer makes it more tart). I like that about homemade yogurt, as well: I control how mild or tart I want it. That’s pretty cool, I think. :wink:

The brand of storebought I am using, by the way, is Mountain High Original Style All Natural Yoghurt - Plain. Billions of Live and Active Cultures!

I don’t know if this is quite the same thing, but in my instruction booklet, it says if you want a thicker yogurt:

It seems similar to Greek yogurt recipes I’ve seen, except they usually recommend you refrigerate the yogurt in a glass or earthenware container before hanging it and letting it drip, and always recommend using whole milk (which is what I used for my regular yogurt - skim milk, as I read it, seems to make a runnier yogurt).

This is where the Thermos comes in handy - you heat the milk to inoculate it, let it cool to a healthy temperature for the bacteria, and the Thermos keeps it warm enough to go on. The only tricky part is cooling it down properly when you’re done (if, like me, you keep it in the Thermos for storage). Taking the lid off helps here.

I have a thermos.

I’d be likely to cool it in bowls, though. Or in plastic containers if it won’t muck anything up.

What birthday?

Her 27th, of course.

Oops. That was uh… a misspelling. I meant to write mirthday. The day family and friends gave me gifts and there was much mirth.

I have a really really old yogurt maker that has a base with holes to hold five 8-oz containers. The original lids to the original cups are long gone, so I’ve been using regular commercial yogurt cups. Over the last couple of years, though, almost every brand of yogurt in our area has switched to cups without lids! So if I lose a cup, or it gets mangled, the way to replace it is to buy the one brand of yogurt that still has the old-fashioned cups with lids, which is organic goat’s milk yogurt.

Which is, incidentally, sooooo, soooo good.

But also $2 a pop!

I just do 1 qt of skim milk, 1 cup of nonfat dry milk, and however much starter is left from the last batch. (I think my original starter was Dannon’s.)

The nice thing about the in-cup maker is that I just grab a cup in the morning for my lunch. I put a tablespoon of nice chunky preserves in the bottom to make my own “fruit-on-the-bottom.” Commercial yogurt with fruit: 230 calories. 1 cup nonfat yogurt and 1 tbsp preserves: 190 calories. HA!

Oh, another cool thing I realized not long ago was that I can heat the milk in the microwave! I used to do it on the stove top, and it took forever, and I always got impatient and burned the bottom. But with the microwave, there’s no burning, and I know exactly how long it will take to come to a boil (13 minutes).

You can get a yogurt maker? Wow! I’ve done it myself without a machine, but it always came out thin; fine for cooking but not much fun for eating. Hmmm…

:Still hoping for Anaamika’s yogurt-making technique:

As am I!