In a previous version of this blog, I made homemade yogurt using a slowcooker and some heavy towels. I’m pretty sure I used a recipe similar to THIS. It was super easy but I have some food weirdness, and I didn’t always like that the temperature wasn’t being held at a constant temp. I’m sure it was fine, but I was even more excited when I noticed the Yogurt setting on my Excalibur Food Dehydrator.
We eat a lot of yogurt, and now that Lee is eating real foods he does too. He loooooves yogurt, but I can’t always find unsweetened whole milk yogurt at our small community grocer. When I do, the price makes me do a double take. So homemade is definitely the way to go.
Of course we filmed the entire Yogurt Making process, but the whole recipe is below too! How convenient!
First thing is to make sure that everything you are going to use is washed well, if not sterilized.
4L of milk – any milk will work to some degree, but we use whole.
2-3 tablespoons room temperature Plain Yogurt with Active Bacteria Cultures
An Excalibur Dehydrator
A saucepan that will fit all the milk in it.
A thermometer that reaches above 185° Fahrenheit.
Mason jars or other storage containers that will not be affected by heat.
Lids for containers
A measuring cup
Pour all of the milk into the saucepan and heat to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk constantly so that you don’t burn the milk. This step scalds the milk and kills all the bacteria that may be in the milk.
This is me when I first started whisking….
And this is after about 25 minutes of whisking and I hit the delusional stage…
Once the milk reaches 185°, remove from the heat. Cool the milk back down to 110°. This can take quite a long time, but if you want to speed things up you could put the pan in the sink with some cool water surrounding it. Just make sure that you don’t get any water into the pan! Geniuses that we are, we waited for 30 minutes before thinking of doing this!!!
We started preheating the dehydrator at the same time as the cooling down process.
Once the yogurt reaches 110° you can stir in the yogurt cultures. Do not add the yogurt in if the temp is higher as it could kill the cultures. No cultures, no yogurt. Mix the yogurt into the milk very well.
Using the measuring cup, scoop the milk mixture into the containers and add lids.
If you’re using 500ml jars or larger, you’ll probably want to remove all of the trays from the dehydrator. If you’re using smaller jars, you could use the trays to space he jars out better. We used 1L jars and placed them right on the floor of the dehydrator.
Our dehydrators says that yogurt should be done at 115° but we wanted to be safe, so we put it closer to 110°. Set it for 10-12 hours and leave it alone. Yogurt hates to be interfered with. I’ve read on the internet that if you left it for 24 hours in the machine, the bacteria would eat all the lactose and the yogurt would be lactose free. Not sure about that but it just proves that you can leave the yogurt in the machine without worrying that you’ll spoil it.
Here is Yogurt and I the next morning, …
When times up, put the jars in the fridge for a few hours. They will firm up a bit, but homemade yogurt is notoriously runny compared to store bought. If you want more of a Greek yogurt product, you can put some cheesecloth or coffee filters in a small mesh strainer and sit it in a bowl. Pour in the yogurt and let it drain in the fridge.
So here is the best thing about yogurt…
IT’S ALL MINE!!! OM NOM NOM NOM!!!!