Customer Louise Joseph wrote us about her success in making delicious yogurt from our Provident Pantry Instant Nonfat Dry Milk, and we decided it was something we needed to try! Here is her recipe:
- Mix two quarts of powdered milk according to directions and blend in 1 carton plain, unflavored yogurt that has live, active cultures (be sure it says so on the carton!)
- Pour into jars, cover, and do not disturb for 24-48 hours in a warm place--about 110° F. (Some people use a shorter time; five hours is the minimum.) The longer you incubate the yogurt, the thicker and more tart it will be.
- Test for flavor and consistency.
- When it’s the way you want it, refrigerate and use it within 2-3 weeks.
Louise says, “Flavor with brown sugar, honey, Emergency Essentials dried fruits, or granola—totally delicious, inexpensive, easy, and healthy!”
We had a few questions:
Does it matter whether you use plain or fortified instant nonfat dry milk?
Both work, but the fortified seemed to take a little longer and had a little more separation of curd (semi-solid) and whey (liquid). The consistency was softer than we expected—rather like soft custard—great for smoothies!
What size carton, or how much yogurt is needed to culture 2 quarts of dry milk powder?
About ½ cup of commercial yogurt, or a small carton. Mix gently but thoroughly.
What is the best place/method of incubating yogurt for a consistent temperature? (There are commercial yogurt-making kits, but most people find they’re not necessary.) Here are some suggestions:
1) Electric oven—may be warm enough with the oven light on. If not, use a “warm” setting, or set it a third of the way between “off” and 200° F. (Our first batch failed because the “warm” oven setting was too warm. Just using the light worked well. We let our yogurt work for 34 hours.)
2) A gas range oven with a pilot light.
3) A pot of warm water with jars of yogurt standing in it. Keep adding warm water as it cools.
4) On top of a warm radiator or over a heat vent in cool weather.
5) On top of a heating pad set on low, with a folded towel between pad and jars and an inverted deep bowl or pot to hold in the warmth
6) In a covered picnic cooler, with yogurt jars set between jugs of very warm water. Change and refill jugs with warm water every few hours.
Can you use some of your homemade yogurt as a culture for another batch?
Yes, for 3 or 4 batches, then begin again with a new start.
How do you make thick Greek-style yogurt?
Drain yogurt in the fridge until it reaches the thickness you like. Use a drainer/colander and several thicknesses of cheese cloth, a coffee filter, or a clean handkerchief. Another way to thicken yogurt is to use extra powdered milk to begin with. Instead of using 2/3 cup dry milk powder to make a quart of milk, use 1 cup. Some people also add gelatin, pectin, cornstarch, tapioca starch or agar. It can attain the consistency of pudding or even cream cheese!
If you love the tangy taste of yogurt but aren’t ready to commit to making it, try our delicious Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Yogurt Bites. Small, melt-in-your-mouth wafers of strawberry, banana, blueberry, caramel or raspberry-flavored real yogurt are a nutritious anytime treat. They’re great in trail mix, and kids will think they’re candy!