Homemade Yogurt

My husband jokes that I am turning into a hippie homesteader but I have to say, I really enjoy all the little projects that result from so many new and positive learning experiences in my goal of living more consciously and conscientiously.

I recently came across a homemade yogurt recipe by Claire Criscuolo, owner of Claire’s Corner Copia vegetarian restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut, located across from Yale University’s old campus on the corner of  Chapel St. & College St.  On her website’s FAQ page,  she lists a recipe for homemade yogurt:

If you eat 2 cups of yogurt a day in your family, you will save $1,000.00 a year by making your own – and, you’ll save hundreds of plastic cups a year, too.

Makes about 16 cups

1 gallon organic whole or 2% milk

2/3 cup plain, organic yogurt

Heat the milk in a large, uncovered 8 quart pot over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the milk foams and rises about half way to the top of the pot, about 10 minutes. When the foam reaches about half way to the top of the pot, remove from the heat. Pour the heated milk into a large bowl (a tempered glass or pottery bowl is best). Set the bowl on your counter to cool until you can insert your “baby” finger into the center of the bowl of milk, just comfortably, for 10 full seconds. This will take about  20 minutes or so, depending on how cold it is in your kitchen. Measure the 2/3 cup yogurt into a separate bowl. Measure 1/2 cup of the heated milk into the bowl of yogurt. Stir well to mix. Pour this yogurt mixture into the large bowl of heated milk, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl clean. This is the point when Sadie said a blessing over the bowl, so I always do, too. Cover the bowl with a dish large enough to fit the bowl without touching the yogurt. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel, then a thick bath towel. Leave the wrapped bowl on the counter for 8-10  hours, (you can make your yogurt  before you go to bed or before you leave for work) whichever is more convenient for you, without disturbing. After 8-10 hours, remove the towels but leave the dish on. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but it’s ready to eat after 8 hours. Before enjoying, remove about 2/3 cup of the top layer and spoon this into a jar. Cover the jar and refrigerate for up to two weeks. This will be your yogurt “starter” for your next batch. You may now begin eating and enjoying .

I just had to try it.  It was fun, easy and successful, but not without caveats.  Instead of a letting the ingredients “set” in a large bowl, I used a giant Bell jar (the kind used for home pickling and canning).  Because of the tall, narrower shape of the jar (I used a 1/2 gallon size), I found that the first 2/3 of the finished product was a bit on the thin side, more resembling kefir (but much more delicious).  The bottom 1/3 of the Bell jar was indeed a thicker, yogurt-like consistency.  So next time, I will be more exacting in following the directions, and use a very large, very wide bowl to make my yogurt.

Also, I used goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk –  – this has a higher fat content but it’s oh, so delicious and healthy.  Also, it was not as tart as store-bought yogurt, but this could be because I used goat’s milk – – I haven’t experimented enough to know for sure.

Not only is it more economical to make yogurt rather than buy it, as Claire suggests; it is so much more delicious!   For those who consume only chalav yisrael dairy products (which are hard to find in smaller Jewish communities, not to mention extremely pricey), this yogurt recipe is really handy.  It’s easy to make a parfait with fruits like strawberries, blueberries and bananas, or as a base for tasty smoothies.  It’s a great way to benefit from protein and calcium.  There are no additives or chemicals, and it’s so much fresher than anything you can buy in the supermarket.  So here’s a shout-out to Claire . . . thank-you for sharing this wonderful recipe on your website!

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tiger Mike on May 25, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Have you ever tried to make cheese? I have. I think you’d like it. You can get certified kosher ingredients. And you can use goat’s milk, too. (I DON”T like anything made with goats\’s milk. It always tastes like what a wet goat smels like. And yes, I know what a wet goat smells like.)

    Reply

  2. Posted by fishmanformosa on May 26, 2013 at 1:29 am

    p.s. do you sometimes see the Family First mag from Mishpocha? The May 8, 2013 article entitled,”I want my life back,” by

    Reply

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