Homemade Strawberry Yogurt

My new Excalibur dehydrator makes the perfect incubator for homemade yogurt. It's a very simple process, but a good kitchen thermometer really helps...

Combine in a medium saucepan:

2 quarts milk (I used whole milk, but you could use low-fat)
1 cup instant powdered milk
(This makes the yogurt thicker and boosts the protein and calcium content)

Stir to mix well. Set over low heat and bring to 180 degrees (scalding), stirring almost constantly so it doesn't scorch. Remove from heat and let cool to 115 degrees. This will take about 30 minutes.

Stir in 2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt. I used Dannon Activia brand. Stir in 2 tablespoons honey, if desired.

For plain yogurt, just pour directly into clean 8 oz. canning jars or plastic containers. If you like "Fruit-on-the-Bottom" yogurt, place a tablespoon or two of jam in the bottom of each jar before pouring the milk mixture on top. I used Strawberry Freezer Jam for the yogurt in the photo above.

Cover the jars loosely with the lids or with a sheet of waxed paper.

Place in dehydrator (or anywhere else you can maintain a temperature of 115 degrees) and incubate for 3 to 5 hours, until yogurt is thick and pulls away from the side of the jar in one mass when tipped on its side.

Cap tightly and refrigerate. Use within a week or two. Makes 8 (8 oz.) jars.

For more details on yogurt-making, check out the following link:
http://www.dvo.com/newsletter/monthly/2003/june/0603tabletalk.html

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