- Whole Milk (Supposedly, you'll need to add some gelatin if you use 2%, but I've never tried)
- 6-8oz of plain yogurt. NOT GREEK YOGURT. Also, make sure that it says something about active cultures on the container. Also, you can save yogurt from a previous batch. This is your starter.
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Instant Pot (or a pot on the stove and a way to keep the milk at 110% for hours)
- A sink halfwayish filled with cold water. Ice would not be amiss.
- Dump the milk in the Instant Pot. Half gallon or a gallon, doesn't really matter. I do a full gallon cause......... kids.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot, press the Keep Warm button and let it sit for 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes, take off the lid. I add a splash of vanilla extract, but I don't know if that really makes a difference in taste. Switch the Instant Pot to Saute and start stirring.
- Once the milk gets to 180°F, take the pot out of the Instant Pot and put it in the sink. Stir and/or let it sit until it gets to 110°F. Remove from the water. Take a cup (roughly, amount is not important) of the cooled milk and add to a bowl with the yogurt starter. Mix it up, then add to the rest of the milk.
- Return the pot to the Instant Pot, and use the Keep Warm button to get the temp back to 110°F, if necessary.
- Turn off and unplug the Instant Pot. Wrap it up in a beach towel, making sure to get the towel tucked under the unit.
- Let it sit for anywhere from 6 - 24 hours. The milk should yogurtify in about 3 hours. The longer it sits after 6 hours, the tangier it will get, and the less lactose it will contain. I let it sit for 12 hours. I will admit it's more for convenience on my end, more than anything.
- After the period of time you have chosen, take the pot out of the Instant Pot. I cover the top with plastic wrap. You can move it to another bowl. Whatever works for you. Toss it in the fridge for about 2 hours.
- You now have yogurt!
If you want Greek Yogurt!
- Line a fine mesh or similar colander with 2 or 3 layers of paper towels or a flour sack towel, or cheesecloth. I use flour sack because it's washable, thus reusable.
- Add the yogurt. Cover the top of the yogurt.
- Put the colander in another bowl and toss in the fridge.
- After an hour, scrape the yogurt off the sides and stir. Dump the whey from the bottom bowl if there's too much.
- After another hour, you have greek yogurt!
Fruit on the Bottom!
You can do jam or jelly on the bottom of the container you're putting the yogurt in, but I didn't like adding sugar.
You will need...
- Fruit of your choice, fresh or frozen
- Small silicone ice cube tray... like really tiny, depending on the container you're using. I also found that my silicone muffin trays worked really well with the 1/2 cup round containers I was using.
- Dump the fruit into a pot. Cook at low heat and stir until the fruit breaks down and turns into a soupy mass. You may need to add a touch of water if you're using fresh fruit. Congrats, now you have a compote.
- This step is optional. To make things easier on my last attempt, I ran the compote through the blender. The kids don't like finding whole berries in their yogurt, and it made it easier to put into the ice cube trays.
- Put the compote into the trays and freeze (or not, I guess, if you want). Everything here depends on the tray and the container you are using. The half cup rounds demanded a very thin layer of compote in the muffin tray, or it wouldn't fit well in the container. But, then, if I tried to freeze excess compote, the disks would break easily. When I moved to the mini ice cube trays, I had to make sure that I filled the mold about halfway up. Any more, and the compote cube would be too high in the container and not melt right.
- Put the frozen compote (or non frozen, I guess) in the bottom of the container, and fill with yogurt. Let it sit in the fridge awhile to let the compote thaw, and you have greek fruit on the bottom yogurt!