Homemade Vanilla Yogurt
For Purchased Starter
Omit the 6 oz. plain whole milk yogurt. Replace with 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder and one 5 gram package yogurt culture. Heat the milk as directed above. In a large bowl, combine milk, milk powder and culture; whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour ingredients into yogurt container. Ferment yogurt for 8 to 16 hours. Yogurt cultures differ depending on the variety. Longer fermentation times will produce a tangier, thicker, yogurt.
Types of Yogurt Cultures
Direct-set cultures are powders that are added to milk to produce a single batch of yogurt. With some care, a direct-set starter can be re-cultured two or three times by saving some of the yogurt and adding it to another batch of milk to produce additional yogurt. Eventually, however, a new direct-set starter must be used. Reusable cultures can be used over and over againg. With each batch, some of the yogurt is saved to add to a new batch of milk to make more yogurt. Reusable cultures should be fed every five days to maintain the vigor of the bacteria.
For Thicker Yogurt
By using whole milk or a mixture of milk and cream, fat content is increased which naturally increases the thickness to the yogurt. Strain the finished yogurt using cheesecloth. Place three layers of 100% cotton cheesecloth in a fine mesh strainer. Set strainer over a bowl. Spoon in yogurt. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerated for at least 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator and discard liquid in bowl. Heating the milk to 180°F and holding the temperature for 30 minutes prior to letting the milk cool to 110°F can also increase the thickness of the final yogurt.Add 1/2 cup dry milk powder to milk prior to the milk being heated to increase thickness.