Homemade Yogurt Recipe [moved from General Topics]
Making it yourself isn't that big a deal, especially if you appreciate the difference. I can no longer find a store-bought yogurt that's better than my own – even Butterworks Farm, which has been my go-to brand for several years, can't measure up to my homemade (although it's a very good substitute!).
Yogurt makers are cheap – I have a Salton that does ± a quart at a time (don't bother with the ones that do individual pots) and cost about $20. I use a Canadian brand of powdered starter – Rolmex, @ $1.50 a packet (1 packet makes 1 quart). And I get my whole, raw milk fresh from a local farm ($2/gallon).
Plug in yogurt maker to preheat. Pour milk into pan, heat on stove to 180°F. Remove from heat, let cool to 112°. Stir in starter, pour into maker. Let stand to desired “doneness.” I like mine tart, so I let it go 8 - 10 hours. To get the consistency I like best, I strain the yogurt through 2 layers of cheesecloth for about 5 minutes, then dump it into a glass jar for storage. Once it's in the jar, I beat it with a whisk until it's perfectly smooth.
The inital prep takes about 5 minutes, hands on (allow 15 - 20 minutes for milk to cool). Then another 5 minutes to finish. It's worth every cent and every moment of my time.
I live in Vermont. I bought the Salton at my local (very excellent) kitchen supply – they also sell the Rolmex starter.
As for the starter – I did several test batches, witih several methods/starters, and found the version made with the Rolmex starter most to my liking – tart, slightly sweet (the starter has a tiny bit of sucrose in it) and not at all lumpy.