I make yogurt weekly. I never thought about adding the recipe here because it is so simple; but it has become my #1 requested recipe so here goes:
Start with sterile jars, I just fill my jars AND lids with boiling water. It is probably not that important as I take my cream to 180 degrees; but just adding boiling water to a jar and lid is so simple…
I put the jar in my asparagus steamer because I am going to heat it to 180 degrees. This changes the proteins and enzymes in the milk to make a thicker yogurt. You do NOT have to take this step and can just use raw cream but will have a softer yogurt.
Do NOT take the lid off the jar or put a thermometer in your now sterilized cream as this will contaminate it and give you a bad flavor.
I get my 1/2 tsp of yogurt starter culture you can buy at www.azurestandard.com or New England Cheesemaking supply or at the farm in the freezer 🙂 Have it ready, now quickly take the lid off the jar and dump in your culture and put the lid right back on. That is the hardest part of your cheesemaking. Shake the jar gently for a minute or so to mix the culture throughout the cream.
Now place on the warming shelf of the woodstove, or in a pan of warm water, or in an ice chest with warm water in it; anywhere to keep it at about 70 for 4-8 hours. I check it at 5 and then again at 8 or whenever it looks like it has thickened I will then put it in the fridge. Wait overnight to try it.
Now, after it is cold; take the lid off the jar. It should smell delicious. It will have a little whey and be slightly separated. The top most part will be thicker and you can take that off and eat it fresh. Don’t need to add sugar it is THAT good. I add some fresh or frozen fruit.
Let me know if you have any problems. Most common problem is starter culture not fresh or contamination.