The current state of the dairy industry and most store-bought yogurt is an unfortunate one to say the least (read why here). Lucky for us, there are enough industrial food and farm outliers to make a go of completely homemade yogurt – even getting the milk straight from the goat (or cow) if so desired.
Because I’m a believer in the goodness of raw milk,
and super devoted to being uber-DIY, I make a trek once a week to milk four dairy goats at Homestead Ranch in Lecompton, KS. I use the milk to make yogurt in a sweet little electric yogurt incubator, although this piece of equipment is totally unnecessary. The recipe below is how I started to make yogurt a couple years ago, and it works fantastically. Really, it’s a super easy process, and while the yogurt incubates, you get to walk away and get on with your life, then come back to a super cheap, super healthy, super tasty treat!
1/2 cup good quality commercial plain yogurt*, or 1/2 cup yogurt from previous batch, or one pkg yogurt starter
1 quart whole milk (2 % can be used), nonhomogenized and non-ultrapasteurized
Gently heat the milk in a saucepan to 180 degrees F (measure with a candy thermometer). Remove from the heat and allow to cool to about 110 degrees F, stirring occasionally to remove the “skin” that will form on the top later. Pour about 1/2 cup of the milk into a dish containing the yogurt (or starter) and stir until smooth and a liquid consistency. Add to the rest of the milk and place in a shallow glass, enamel, or stainless steel container. Cover the container and place in a warm over (a gas oven with a pilot light or electric oven pre-heated to warm and then turned off) overnight. In the morning, transfer to the refrigerator. Once thoroughly cooled, enjoy! Delicious topped with fruit, granola, or with a bit of honey stirred in.
*When purchasing good quality yogurt, organic whole milk plain yogurt is best. Try to find one with the fewest preservatives and addditional emulsifiers or other ingredients.