2 large stockpots
4 quart canning jars with lids and bands
1 medium-sized cooler
1 gallon of whole milk
1 cup yogurt starter(you can use a small cup of plain Dannon or Yoplait yogurt, or you can use a cup from your previous batch. Whatever starter you use, make sure you don’t open it until you are ready to use it.)
1. Place four quart glass canning jars, four lids, and four screw-tops in a large pot. Fill with an inch of water; cover with lid and heat to boiling. Boil for ten minutes. Leave the lid on the pot and move it off the heat until you are ready to use the jars.
2. Pour one gallon of milk into a large stockpot. One with a heavy bottom will make the heating process simpler(you won’t have to watch so carefully for burning). I use a Revere Ware copper bottomed stock pot. Heat the milk to 185-195 degrees Fahrenheit(80-90 Celsius).
I use an instant read digital thermometer. I find more success with it than the other types. For my yogurt.
3. Place the pot in a sink filled with cold water and let the milk cool to 122-130 degrees Fahrenheit (50-55 degrees celsius)
4. Stir one cup of yogurt starter into the cooled milk, using a whisk. Stir well to make sure that the starter is thoroughly incorporated into the milk.
5. Pour the milk into jars, and put the lids and bands on. Place them into a cooler.
6. Heat one gallon of water to 122-130 degrees F(50-55 degrees C) and pour into cooler.
7. Shut cooler lid and leave in a warm place for three hours. (draft free area)
When the three hours are up, place the yogurt in the refrigerator. If all went well, your yogurt should be thick.
Don’t worry if it’s not this thick right out of the cooler…sometimes mine isn’t thick until it’s become completely cool in the refrigerator.
To make a vanilla version of this yogurt, add 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar to the four quarts of milk when it’s cooling in the sink. Then stir in 2 tablespoons of vanilla, and proceed as usual with the recipe.
To make it super thick, like Fage, you pour off the whey and strain with cheese cloth.