Making your own yogurt is unbelievably simple, tastes so much better than store bought, and has no artificial ingredients or preservatives. One doesn't need any fancy equipment either.
While the prep time seems long at one hour, most of that time is just letting the milk cool so there's no babysitting required.
In a large saucepan over medium low heat add milk and powdered milk, if using. The addition of the powdered milk will result in a higher protein content of the finished product. It is also helpful in insuring a thicker yogurt.
Stir occasionally to keep milk from scorching on the bottom and forming a skin on the top. Bring the milk to a temperature of 180 degrees. I have been told if the milk has been pasteurized you can skip this step and just warm it to 105-110 but I've never tried it.
Once it reaches 180 take it off the heat and cool to 105-110. (About 45 minutes) Stir in the yogurt and pour into a container. I usually use mason jars but have used just a bowl too. Now your yogurt is ready to incubate.
I have two methods I use with equal success. One uses the oven which has been warmed to 100. My settings don't go that low so I turn it on for no more than a minute then turn it off. Turn the light on to maintain the temperature and let it go for 7-12 hours. Overnight works great. In the morning, enjoy your yogurt!
The other method incubates the yogurt in a cooler with 100-108 degree water filled to the same level as the yogurt. This is where mason jars are handy since they screw shut and keep the water out of your yogurt. Incubate 7-12 hours.
If you're a fan of Greek yogurt like me all you need to do after incubation is strain the yogurt through cheesecloth for a few hours. I do this part in the fridge. Add your favorite fresh toppings for the most delicious, creamy treat ever! You can also use it as a substitute for sour cream.
The first time you make this you will have to use a commercially prepared yogurt. It doesn't matter what type or brand but it must say that it contains LIVE yogurt cultures. After the initial batch save a bit of your homemade for the next batch.