We had tired of paying $4/qt for our coop yogurt…the same price as a half gallon of coop raw milk…and I was minutes away from buying another gadget – a yogurt maker. Really, I was sure it would pay for itself…after the first 5 gallons of yogurt! :-)
I researched, and polled, and studied, and finally identified the perfect maker. Then, I did a very strange thing. I didn’t buy one. Surely there was a non-gadgety way of making yogurt. How hard could it be? Ten minutes of googling taught me that all I had to do was heat up some milk, dump in some culture/starter, let it sit around in a warm place for a while….and yogurt would happen, just like it has for thousands of years!
That said, my first attempt worked (warm place = oven with a warm cast-iron skillet to keep the warmth coming over time), but the temperature wasn’t very even, and I worried over it the whole time it was culturing. There had to be a better way!
Finally, a little more research yielded the “bread machine” method. OK. It’s a gadget. But at least I am making a gadget I already own do double duty! It turns out that my bread machine has a “home cooked” setting, on which I can program 12 hours of “rise” at 82 deg. F. How perfect is that? Pretty darned perfect if you ask this family’s tummies!
Homemade Bread Machine Yogurt
1. SLOWLY heat 1 qt. milk (we prefer raw) to 110 deg. F
2. Add 1c. of the warmed milk to 2-3T yogurt (from your last batch) in a qt. mason jar and mix thoroughly.
3. Fill bread machine bucket with cool water (not cold and not warmer than ~80 degrees).
4. Place 1qt jar of milk/yogurt starter in bread bucket and keep at ~80 deg. F for 8-10 hours.