I had given up on making yogurt. I could never get it to set thick enough, and it was always a pain to flavor.That all changed when I was introduced to Ree Ann’s Homemade Vanilla Yogurt. Since she showed me how to make this, there hasn’t been more than a day or two that we haven’t had yogurt in our fridge. I love it… 🙂 in case you can’t tell.
Here is how it is made.
Ree Ann’s Homemade Vanilla Yogurt
1 gallon 2% or whole milk
1 cup powdered milk
2 cup sugar
4 tsp vanilla
1 cup high-quality plain yogurt with live and active cultures (Ree Ann prefers to use Greek yogurt)
(You also need: a cooler, an electric heating pad, a cooking thermometer, 2 towels, and 5 quart jars and lids.)
Plug in the heating pad, place it in the bottom of the cooler, put a dish towel over the heating pad, and turn it on to medium. Close the lid— so it starts to get warm. Next combine milk, powdered milk, and sugar in a heavy-bottom pan or double boiler. Cook, stirring constantly (being careful not to scorch the milk), with a whisk until mixture reaches 185-190 degrees. Then put the whole pot in a sink filled with cool water, to bring the temperature down to 120 degrees. When the temperature is down, add the vanilla. Then put about two cups of the milk mixture in a bowl and add in the yogurt. Stir until smooth. Now put the yogurt/milk mixture back into the pan. Mix. Ladle the mixture into 5 quart jars. Put the lids on the jars. Arrange them in the cooler. Put a towel around to fill up the extra space. Shut the lid and leave them undisturbed for five hours. It is best to keep the temperature in the cooler between 90 and 120 degrees. After the five hours check to see if the yogurt is set, if not let it continue to incubate. The yogurt may take up to eight hours. The longer the yogurt incubates, the thicker the yogurt will be. Make sure the yogurt is firm. There may be a little liquid on top (this is called whey) drain it off each time before serving or mix it in for a thinner consistency. Put the finished yogurt in the refrigerator for about 8 hours to cool completely and chill. (This yogurt recipe can be “halfed” or “fourthed”, if you desire.) Here is a link to an easy printable version of the recipe: Ree Ann’s Homemade Vanilla Yogurt
The yogurt is delicious alone or it can be served with berries and granola –see Speedy Granola Recipe. We also use the yogurt to make smoothies and we use it as a base for a fruit salad. Thanks for the recipe, Ree Ann!