THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED AS OF 1/7/2012 SEE BELOW:
In the pictures below I recommend using an old shirt for straining. I have finally invested in a yard of unbleached muslin from the store (Hobby Lobby or Jo Anne Fabrics). When buying muslin go for the heavier coarser stuff that is twice as expensive as the lighter stuff. It runs 5.99 a yard, but take a coupon and get a yard for way less. The advantage of the muslin is that it's size makes tying it off much easier, it's easier to clean than the shirt and the larger weave lest the whey come out much faster than the tight knit of the shirt.
Are you tired of store bought yogurt that has the consistency and flavour of snot?
Well, I've got the solution.
My Greek Yogurt!
I think a more appropriate name would be strained yogurt, because there is nothing "Greek" about it.
Before we get started let me tell you that I hated yogurt until I tried plain Greek Gods yogurt. That stuff with fruit at the bottom always reminded me of dog vomit, so I was opposed to it. Next, my foray into vanilla yogurt was another flop, I think because it tasted nothing like vanilla anything. Then it was on to fat free, not only was there no flavour the texture was like runny Jell-O, but then I tried the Greek Gods and was hooked. Then next step of my relationship of yogurt was to figure out how to make it myself and after many YouTube videos and a couple trial batches and a tasting by the official MuskOxMaven Test Piggies, I present to you my recipe.
FIRST A FEW NOTES
TEMPERATURE IS MOST IMPORTANT IN THE MAKING OF YOGURT SO DON'T STRAY FROM MY INSTRUCTIONS
ALSO USE CLEAN DISHES WHEN MAKING YOGURT, YOU DON'T NEED TO STERILIZE JUST MAKE SURE THEY ARE CLEAN.
IF YOU WANT TO KNOW THE COST OF MAKING THIS I ESTIMATE IT TO BE AROUND 4 USD EVEN IF YOU CAN NOT GET YOUR MILK ON SALE. A GALLON WILL MAKE JUST UNDER 2 QUARTS OF YOGURT. A 24 OZ TUB AT THE GROCERY WILL RUN JUST UNDER 4 USD.
IF YOU ADD UP ALL THE TIME IT TAKES TO ACTUALLY HANDLE THE YOGURT WHILE MAKING IT YOU ARE LOOKING AT LESS THAN AN HOUR
Now for the recipe!
2 Cups Nonfat Dry Milk
1 gallon Whole Milk
First you need to get a gallon of WHOLE MILK.
That's right whole milk, don't try to skip the fat factor, or you'll end up with Elmer's Glue yogurt. It's not as bad as store bought snot, but it's easier to just get glue/snot from the store.
Now that you have your whole milk pour it into pot and bring it up to 160F. Keep it at that temperature for 10 minutes. Keep stirring so the milk doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan. This won't affect the flavour, but it keeps cleanup to a minimum.
Now you're ready for fermentation. I use this fermentation chamber pictured here for my making of yogurt. It consist of a cooler, a heating pad and a towel. The towel is not necessary. I poured my liquid into a KitchenAid stand mixer bowl, because my other pot will not fit in the cooler. I then covered the bowl with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap is handy, because you can poke your thermometer through right into the yogurt to monitor the temperature.
I know that my heating pad will keep the temperature between 100-110F so I don't worry about over heating. If you get the temperature up over 120F or so you'll kill the bacteria from your starter culture and your yogurt will not turn out. You may want to keep an eye on your fermentation vessel the first time through. Since my vessel is tested I just close it and turn the pad on, I don't worry about the temperature. You can also use an oven if yours is fancy and will keep a constant temperature. You'll just have to find out for yourself, I know my oven is not to be trusted with yogurt.
After you close your vessel you let it sit for at least 14 hours. I usually do mine overnight, and my heating pad will only stay on for an hour, but the cooler will keep the temperature up so there is no need to worry. I usually let mine go for 14 hours, longer won't hurt.
You can also let your yogurt sit at room temperature, but this will probably take forever. I use the vessel, if you decide to let it sit at room temperature let me know how it turns out.
Now you have two options, if you like runny yogurt you can stop now or you can strain your yogurt so it is thick and creamy. I don't like snot, so I strain mine. If you like snot you go right ahead and stop now. As for me and my house we will strain our yogurt.
You will need a colander, and a pot to put it in. You will also need a piece of cloth to line the colander with so your yogurt doesn't run through the holes. I use an old shirt I have cut up (I cut the armpits off and just used the mid part of the shirt). Make sure you rinse it out well before you use it, so you don't get laundry detergent in your yogurt. You will also see a bowl with canned goods in it. I'll get to that shortly.
I get just under 2 quarts of yogurt from a gallon of milk.
Nutritional information can be calculated at CalorieCount.com by putting in your ingredients. Serving size is 1/4 Cup, containing 90 KCal.