Source: Harold McGee: They do the work, You Reap the Yogurt
Notes: I am finding the homemade yogurt making process to be cost effective. Here’s the breakdown: 1 jar of plain ACF yogurt (about 2 cups) costs $3.79, which means, 1/4 cup costs about $0.47. The milk I buy costs $2.75 for a half gallon, so the first batch of homemade yogurt cost me $3.22. There are 128 tablespoons in a half gallon, so every tablespoon of homemade yogurt has a value of $0.03, so every quarter cup has a value of about $0.12. So, from here on out the cost of my 1/2 gallon batches of yogurt is about $2.87, and over time, as long as I keep using my homemade yogurt to make subsequent batches, the cost eventually will nearly equal the cost of the milk: $2.75.
- 4 tablespoons yogurt
- 1/2 gallon whole milk
- maple syrup (if making Greek-maple yogurt)
- In a large saucepan, heat the milk to 180 – 190ºF, or to the point that it’s steaming and beginning to form bubbles.
- Let the milk cool to around 115 to 120ºF. Place yogurt in a small bowl. Thin it out with some of the milk, then stir this mixture into the pot with the remaining milk.
- Pour the milk-yogurt mixture into a warm jar or container or an insulated bottle, cover it, and keep the milk still and warm until it sets, usually in about four hours. Harold McGee swaddles his quart jar in several kitchen towels but also recommends putting the container in an oven with the light bulb on.
- Once the yogurt sets, refrigerate it to firm its structure. To make a thick Greek-style yogurt, spoon it into a fine-mesh strainer or colander lined with cheesecloth or sieve lined with a coffee filter, and let the whey drain into a bowl for several hours.
- To make Argyle Cheese Farmer-style Greek yogurt, place your strained yogurt in a stand mixer. Whip it until it’s light and airy. Add maple syrup by the tablespoon to taste. Chill until ready to eat. I find the light texture becomes even more mousse-like once it chills for a bit.