Valley Bounty: DIY Yogurt

In honor of National Dairy Month, I’d like to turn our attention to the classic combination of milk and bacteria. Fermenting milk is older than written language, and yields some recipes that are both delicious and incredibly easy to make at home.

Making yogurt is well within the ability of even the least kitchen-savvy among us. Heat a half gallon of milk in a large saucepan to just about 200°F, then let it cool to about 110°F. Take a cup of the warm milk and, in a separate bowl, combine with a half cup of plain yogurt (we need existing bacterial cultures to inoculate the yogurt we’re making). Once the milk and yogurt are combined thoroughly, stir them into the warm milk in the saucepan. Cover the pot and place it in the oven without turning the oven on– we’re aiming to keep the yogurt warm while it sets, not cook it. After about four hours, begin testing the yogurt for doneness; you can let the mixture sit as long as overnight to make it thicker and tangier. When your yogurt is ready, transfer it to storage containers and refrigerate. Remember to save a half cup to make your next batch!

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)