- ½ gallon (2 quarts) milk
- 6 tablespoons plain yogurt with live, active cultures
- Pour milk into heavy-bottomed sauce pan or Dutch oven, and slowly bring temperature to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring constantly to prevent the milk from scorching and sticking to the bottom of the pan. Note: It’s best to use a candy or instant-read thermometer to measure the temperature accurately. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, however, you can simply heat the milk to just below the boiling point, when tiny bubbles start to form around the edge of the pot.
- When the temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the pot from heat. Quickly cool the milk to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Note: An easy way to do this is to (carefully) pour the hot milk into a metal mixing bowl that is nestled into a sink or large bowl full of ice. If you are not using a thermometer, cool the milk so that a drop placed on the wrist will be slightly uncomfortably warm to the touch (but be every careful not to burn yourself!)
- When milk cools to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, stir in the 6 tablespoons of yogurt. Be sure that the yogurt is completely blended into the milk. Do this quickly without allowing milk to cool. Divide milk evenly between 2 quart canning jars, or 4 pint canning jars. Wipe the rim, and apply the lid and ring loosely to the jar.
- Place the jars in a warm spot (approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit) to incubate for 8-10 hours. Note: The way I like to incubate the yogurt is by placing the jars in a cooler, surrounded by additional canning jars of very hot water. I then close the lid and I don’t start checking the the set of the yogurt for at least 8 hours. And remember, the longer the yogurt ferments, the tangier and more firmly set it will become. So use your own judgement as to when it is done, based on the taste and the set of the yogurt.
- If you prefer a thicker, Greek-style yogurt, strain the finished yogurt in a sieve lined with cheesecloth, or flour sack towel. Allow it to strain for several hours, until most of the whey has strained off. The whey can be saved to add extra nutrition to smoothies, soups and baked goods.
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