Make Yogurt In Your Oven

 

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Yogurt is one of those foods that many of us always have in the fridge. But with so many varieties available it is not always easy to choose. And even if you always opt for your favourite brand of plain, unsweetened yogurt that can enjoyed as is, or turned into tzatziki, or blitzed into smoothies, or any other of the countless ways yogurt can be enjoyed, you end up contributing quite a lot of plastic containers to the ol’ recycling bin. The solution? Make it at home.

Making yogurt at home is super easy, and you do not need any special equipment at all other than a candy thermometer. Although there are several yogurt maker contraptions out there, all you really need is a rather warm space to incubate it for six or more hours. And guess what. Your oven, with the door closed and the oven light left on will do the trick beautifully. A forty-watt light will heat your oven to about 105 F.

The great thing about making your own yogurt is you can choose the milk you want to use and of course can control the rest of the ingredients, which in this case are minimal. This post is focusing on dairy, so is not suitable for vegans or those who cannot tolerate dairy. Whole milk works best for yogurt as it has a higher fat content so will come out thicker than if you use 2% or skim milk. But the latter will work too, and will firm up if you opt for thickeners. Organic whole cows milk or goat’s milk will produce a beautiful yogurt for a fraction of the cost, too.

 

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The plot thickens: thick yogurt is sexy yogurt. You are going to heat the milk to 180F for at least a few minutes, and then let it cool to 115F before mixing in the starter yogurt. Leaving the hot milk in the pot on the stove for a little longer, half an hour or so will result in thicker and tangier yogurt. You could also mix in a little powdered gelatin to the milk before heating it and this will really thicken it up. You could also strain it through a cheesecloth once it’s done, a la Greek yogurt, removing much of its whey.

The great thing about this method is your previous batch of yogurt- or the yogurt you have in your fridge right now- acts as the starter for the next batch. And so on, and so on. It only takes a few tablespoons of yogurt to make 3 cups, or 750 ml of your next round. Another great thing is you totally cut down on all those plastic containers, which, granted, you are repurposing as much as possible, and recycling the rest when your stack of empties reaches the ceiling. Try this easy recipe at night, it will be ready and waiting for you in the morning!

 

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Easy Homemade Yogurt

3 cups whole milk

1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder, optional.

3 tablespoons yogurt

Pre heat your oven by turning on the oven light. Put three cups of whole milk in a pot and stir in the gelatin, if using. Slowly bring the milk to 180 degrees F, starting the pot on low then gradually increasing the heat, stirring a little. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot to gauge the heat. Maintain that temperature for 10- 30 minutes, giving it a little stir every now and then to keep the bottom of the pot clean. After the prescribed time, remove the pot from the heat and allow the milk to cool down to 115 F.

Place the 3 tablespoons of yogurt in a glass jar or –go figure- a 750 ml yogurt container. Pour about a third of the warm milk into the container and stir gently. Then pour the rest of the warm milk into the container and stir again.

Place the container in the oven and leave it alone for a minimum of six -10 hours. Remove container from the oven and place it in the fridge to further set and chill.

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