Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Homemade Yogurt

Most of the year we enjoy a few strawberries with our yogurt, but in June we appreciate a little yogurt with our bowl of strawberries. Either way, you need to know how to make yogurt at home. It's easy and requires no special equipment. I make yogurt in quart-sized canning jars. I usually make two quarts at a time.

Measure eight cups of milk into a saucepan and heat it up to 180 degrees, or just shy of  boiling. Then cool it down to 110 degrees, which takes about an hour. At our house, we cover the saucepan with a cooling rack to keep the cats out of mischief, and stir every 15 minutes or so. When it reaches 110 degrees, stir in a tablespoon or two of yogurt. This is your "starter," similar to making sour dough bread. It makes a difference if you purchase a nice starter, perhaps a Greek yogurt.

Pour the mixture into quart canning jars. You need to keep it at about 110 degrees for several hours. Our grandmothers would have put it on the pilot light at the back of the stove top. You might use your slow cooker as a warm bath, or maybe you can keep your oven cool. I place my quart jars on an electric heating pad and then cover with a towel to hold in the heat. Hold the mixture at a warm temp for several hours, then transfer to the refrigerator where it will keep nicely for a couple of weeks.

Making yogurt at home is easy, saves money, and gives you control over the fat content of your yogurt. Enjoy!

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