For your yogurt:
-5.5 cups of your choice milk. Organic Grass fed or Food Lion: whole milk or skim
-1/2 cup PLAIN/non-flavored active cultures yogurt
-Put milk in a double boiler and heat without boiling to 185 degrees remove from heat and let it naturally cool to 100-110degrees
-whisk in the yogurt and let sit at 100-110 degrees for at least 9-12 hours.
You now have plain full-fat or non-fat yogurt.
– To make it greek or skyr you strain it in cheesecloth. Put it in the fridge for about an hour.
(If it gets thicker than you want it stir some of the liquid back in until you like it.)
-To make your next batch remove 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and save. Before adding flavors or honey.
Add fresh sliced fruit and granola on top or to make your favorite flavor you make a compote or simple jam on the stove with frozen/fresh fruit.
-1.5 2 cups of fruit, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar.
Let it boil and then simmer until thickened and reduced. Let it cool and mix it into prepared yogurt.
If you want your yogurt sweeter we added some honey or agave to sweeten it more. Now you are really done!
The Dash machine keeps it at the right temperature, so the active cultures can turn the milk into yogurt and has a timer for 24 hours so you can make it in the afternoon and keep it warm as long as you need to until you can get to it and strain it etc. (Note – I have discovered, the longer you leave the yogurt in the Dash the more tangy/sour tasting it will get. Dash recommends 9-12 hours. Some people pull it out at 6 for a more traditional yogurt vs. Greek.) Dash has 2 containers one to hold it in and one that fits the reusable mesh strainer so you do not need cheesecloth etc.
I like the Dash, it is not necessary.
Before machines would wrap the pot in towels like making a tea cozy and put it in a warm spot or a cooler that is insulated to keep it at the right temperature and then get it out the next day when it was done. This method would allow you to make bigger batches of yogurt. If you want to make lots of yogurt at one time you can.
The yogurt stays good for about a month. You can get large sized mason jars and sanitize as you would for canning. Put the yogurt straight into cooled jars and keep it in the fridge. Once you crack into a jar you are supposed to use it in about a week just like the yogurts say to in the store.
I noticed that my Siggi’s (crazy expensive), the girls #1&3 greek yoplait and chobani $.80 – $1.00 a cup, and Sylvia’s activia $2.70 for 6. Were about 1/3 of my grocery bill and it takes 1/2 a gallon of milk, $1.50 for a batch. Killer savings!!! Even if I use 2 gallons of milk a week in yogurt. We are around $7 a week for yogurt and before I was spending $7 a week per person! I can turn yogurt making into an hourly wage at this rate of savings. I’ll call myself yogurt maker instead of stay-at-home mom!
It’s a scientific process, so once you get it down you are good to go.
-DO not heat too fast or boil milk it changes texture of the milk proteins and makes yogurt grainy. This is why the double boiler is ideal. It keeps the milk from getting to hot and scorching the bottom of the pot. That is personal experience talking there.
-You must heat to 185 degrees I have read you can go to 190.
-DO not add active cultures if temp is above 110 degrees they will die. They won’t grow quickly or well under 100 degrees.
Enjoy making your own yogurt and feel free to share any great ideas you may have!