I love Greek yogurt, but it’s really expensive…SO…I have learned to make my own. It’s really not too hard. It took a few batches to get it right, but now it is just as good as the stuff from the store.
I usually use about 1/2 gallon of milk – I have found that this tends to result in a quart of finished yogurt. I use a double boiler to heat the milk to 190*. This alters the proteins and helps the yogurt set. Then I let it cool to 110*. At this point, you add your culture. I use about 1/4 cup of yogurt from the last batch, and the first time I actually used yogurt from the store. Stir this really well, then pour into containers. I use the quart-sized Ziplock jars (BPA free!), and usually divide the mix between three of them, leaving a good inch or two of head space at the top of the jar. Then I put them into my Crock-Pot (unplugged) and pour the water from the double boiler (which has also been cooling) around the jars. Cover them with the lid and a folded towel and let sit for about 6-8 hours.
Once the yogurt is cultured, you remove it from the Crock-Pot incubator and place it in the refrigerator. This help the yogurt to set further and also stops the fermentation process. After the yogurt cools, strain it to get the consistency of Greek yogurt. I have a large strainer that I set over a big glass mixing bowl and line with a coffee filter.
Strain one jar at a time, leaving the whole setup in the refrigerator for several hours. When the whey has stopped dripping off, you can flip the filter over (the yogurt will peel off) into a clean container and strain the next jar.
When all the yogurt is strained, you should have about 1 quart of whey and 1 quart of nice thick yogurt. Be sure to stir it really well – that gives it the smooth, glossy texture.
I personally love mine with blueberries, strawberries, and honey. 🙂 When you get low, you can start your next batch!