- 1). Fill the bottom pot of the double boiler with water. Warm the water on the stove over medium heat. Add the quart of milk to the top pot. The double boiler ensures that the milk does not scald. Put the thermometer inside the pot so the tip is in the milk. Stir the milk occasionally as it warms. Slowly warm the milk to 185 degrees. Check the temperature and stir constantly as the milk begins to froth and approaches 185 degrees.
- 2). Remove the milk pot from the double boiler and discard the hot water. Place 8 cups of ice into the bottom pot and then fill it with cool water. Place the milk pot back onto the bottom pot and allow it to sit in this cold water bath. The cold water bath quickly and evenly lowers the milk's temperature. Check the milk's temperature and stir occasionally as it cools. The milk is ready when the temperature is between 110 and 120 degrees. Don't allow the milk to cool to 90 degrees, because the culture will not properly activate. The optimal temperature is 110 degrees.
- 3). Let the yogurt culture sit at room temperature while the milk is cooling. This prevents the bacteria from being inactive when added to the yogurt.
- 4). Add the nonfat dry milk 1/4 cup at a time, stirring it into the cooling milk. The dry milk increases the nutritional content of the yogurt and helps with thickening.
- 5). Add the live culture to the milk mixture and stir until it dissolves.
- 6). Pour the yogurt into the pint containers and seal tightly with the lids.
- 7). Place the yogurt containers in the oven with the pilot light on to allow the bacteria to grow. Try to regulate the yogurt's temperature to 100 degrees. After it has set for seven hours, it will have a custard-like texture, cheesy smell, and, depending on the culture used, some greenish liquid on top. The longer the yogurt sits in the low heat, the more thick and tart it becomes. Allow it to sit in the oven until it reaches the desired thickness and flavor.
- 8). Store the yogurt in the refrigerator for several hours to cool it before serving. The yogurt will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. As you use the yogurt, a watery yellow liquid, known as whey, will form on top of the yogurt. Pour this off the top or stir it directly into the yogurt.
- 9). Add fresh fruit, honey or extracts to the yogurt for extra flavor.
If you wish to make more yogurt, reserve 2 tablespoons of the batch as a starter for a new batch of yogurt. Use the starter within one week of making the first batch to optimize the bacteria's growth.
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