How to Make Yogurt

Yogurt-culture is growing.  And no, I’m not talking about the soft, self-serve, frozen, low-fat dessert you can add cheap unidentifiable toppings to, sold in fluorescent, color-schemed stores open on every street corner it seems. No no, that’s a tale for another day.

I’m talking about the real stuff, whose roots run deep throughout eastern Europe, India and Asia. A staple for so many for so long, this fermented delicacy is finally touching the American taste-bud en masse. Industrialized production in America, popularized in the 50s and 60s as the treat received the label of “health food” now sees resurgence with the addition of the Greek-style yogurt on the grocery store shelves. Led by the Chobani company, who just opened the world’s largest yogurt processor last December, the Greek-style trend opened the spectrum for fermented dairy in America. From artisanal local brands, to kefir and lassi, it’s a growing culture that you can easily be a part of!

That’s right yogurt-lovers and do-it-yourself insisters, making yogurt is easy as 1-2-3. No really. It’s literally 3 steps.

  1. Heat a quart of milk (whole milk is preferable) to 175 degrees and pour into mason jar or jug*.
  2. When milk cools to 120 degrees F, add 1-2 tbsp of culture: you can just use already-made yogurt, that has live cultures in it (see label to be sure).
  3. Let mixture incubate: The next 4-7 hours are critical as your milk ferments into yogurt. The slower the mixture can cool, the better. To ensure the process, wrap your jar in towels and make it cozy in a cooler of sorts.

*To avoid any kind of glass shattering due to temperature difference between hot milk and mason jar glass, stick a metal spoon into the jar to act as a heat mediator.

And done. Your yogurt can see your spoon now.