4 cups of fresh, organic 2% milk
1/3 cup of powdered milk
1/2 cup organic yogurt (this will be your starter)
Making yogurt begins with milk. Readers of 101 Cookbooks will not be surprised with the advice to buy organic milk that is fresh as possible. Slowly heat the milk on the stove over low-medium heat.
At this point you can choose to add powdered milk. Powdered milk creates thicker yogurt that takes less time to ferment. It's optional if you are using whole milk or two percent. Some skim and one percent milk include added milk proteins which make the product taste less watery and will behave the same way as if you added powdered milk.
For your first batch we are going to go with two-percent milk plus 1/3 cup of powdered milk. This combination of milk with the powder will produce a delicious, basic yogurt.
The most tedious thing about making yogurt is watching the milk get hot. You need it to hit 170 degrees, but not have it boil. So you want to pay attention to the pot and have a thermometer at hand. Once you've hit the target temperature, remove from heat and then wait for the milk to cool. Unless you put the pot in the refrigerator it will take some time to cool to 108-112 degrees.
If you are using existing yogurt as a starter, have it handy in a cup. When the milk is cooled to the proper temperature, mix a small amount it in with the yogurt. This will break up the yogurt and makes blending it with the rest of the milk easier. Once you add the starter, the milk can be placed in the pre-heated yogurt maker for four to eight hours. Refrigerate before serving. Makes one quart.
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