This tutorial comes courtesy of my mother…Enjoy!!!
I have been making my own yogurt for years, mostly as a necessity, since I could not afford to buy the store bought stuff. My four children (including Jennifer) seem to prefer the home made stuff over store bought. I used to have a plug in yogurt maker with a timer, but it worked only sporadically, so we had to drink a lot of smoothies (that’s what you do with really runny yogurt). I had read that a one quart size wide mouth thermos would do the trick nicely, so when I went to thrift stores and yard sales, I kept my eyes out for one. I found this one at a thrift store for less than fifty cents. What a buy! It may be ugly, but it works just beautifully!
Make sure that your wonderful-49-cent-wide-mouth-one-quart-size-thermos is clean and dry. Fill it with warm water to warm it up (I actually forgot to do the warm-up today, but everything turned out O.K.).
Gather the rest of your supplies: A quart of milk (I was given the half pint boxes of milk and decided to use them for this batch of yogurt), one fourth cup of dried milk, about two tablespoons plain yogurt—this was from last week’s batch (If I need new yogurt starter, I make sure that it has three or four types of bacteria in it—just look at the label and it will list the types of bacteria. Nancy’s is great, Tillamook, Wilcox, and Dannon are also good, and in my opinion, Yogourmet powdered starter is the absolute best, but really spendy), one quart glass measuring cup, and a whisk.
Now make that yogurt. Pour the milk into the glass measuring cup. Add the dried milk (this helps to make the yogurt nice and thick, but if you forget to add it now, you can add it after the milk has heated, and it works just fine).
Whisk it until it is well mixed. Put your glass measure in the microwave on high for 7-10 minutes. If the milk boils, that is fine. It actually seems to help coagulate the yogurt and make it thicker and creamier. (Thank you hand model Joanna.)
When your milk is ready—you will have to check on it in the microwave from time to time to make sure it just gets to boiling, and that should do it—remove it from the microwave.
Place the measuring cup full of hot milk onto a cooling rack and put a thermometer in it. My thermometer read 192.4 degrees. Let the milk cool to 110 degrees.
Remove the skin that has formed on the surface and add the two tablespoons of yogurt. (Thank you again, Joanna)
Stir or whisk until it is well blended. Pour it all into that nice retro thermos, and put the top on. Wrap a towel around it to keep it nice and toasty warm, and let it sit for 4-6 hours. The longer it sits, the thicker it will be, and the more of a tang it will have.
Pour the yogurt into a container and refrigerate. When you are ready to eat it, add the sweetening and flavoring of your choice. I added a little sugar and vanilla (actually it is too much vanilla because I was pouring and taking a picture at the same time). Sometimes I add a teaspoon of jam (home made of course!), and it tastes so good. Beware that stirring it too much will make it thin.
Now call in your test taster (this one is my son, Joseph).