I have been making yogurt this way for years with much success. Make sure all the temperatures are right, and you will have wonderful creamy Greek yogurt. Making yogurt is not hard. “Waiting” for it to get done is the hard part. ?
It tastes fresh and delicious with just a few berries and honey. One of my favorites is grated chocolate with a pinch of cinnamon. And, if you need a bit more sweetness on your yogurt, add a pinch of powdered sugar over it.
Note: Do not use ultra-pasteurized milk! It will make the yogurt taste very tangy. You will need an oven that you won’t need to turn on for 8 hours.
Homemade yogurt tastes nothing like store yogurts. It is not sweet! It does not have all the sugar, flavorings, or additives that you usually find in most commercial yogurts. Greek Yogurt is a blend of milk and cream that is strained; removing the whey and creating a thick, creamy, firm, velvety yogurt.
Gather ingredients and the first 5 tools needed to start making the yogurt.
In a 2 or 3 quart glass bowl, add the container of yogurt and stir a couple times with a whisk until smooth; set aside. (This is the starter yogurt and it needs to be close to room temperature).
Clip a thermometer on the side of large stock pot. Heat the milk and the Half and Half on medium heat until it reaches 180 degrees; stirring occasionally. This takes about 15 minutes. Do not turn the heat higher than medium heat, otherwise the milk may burn. When temperature is reached, turn off the heat and set the pot of milk off to the side. Cool the milk down to 110 degrees. This can take approximately 35-45 minutes.
When proper temperature of milk is reached (110 degrees), remove the skim off the top of milk mixture with a fork; discard. Take a soup ladle full of the warm milk and whisk it into the bowl of yogurt starter until it is smooth and combined. Do this a couple more times to insure all the yogurt has been properly incorporated into the milk. Then add the rest of the milk, whisking to make sure yogurt is mixed in thoroughly. Cover the yogurt mixture with a lid or plate.
Turn the oven on and warm it to 100 degrees. This only takes a couple of minutes to achieve. Turn oven off and make sure the oven thermometer is holding a steady 100 degrees. Ovens are insulated so it will help maintain a constant temperature.
Place bowl in the oven with the oven light ON and leave it there for approx. 8-10 hours or overnight. The yogurt should have a custard-like consistency when it is done. More incubation time will not make the yogurt firmer.
Take the bowl out of the oven. DO NOT STIR the yogurt. Place a colander over a deep bowl and cover the colander with cheese cloth. Pour the bowl of yogurt into the cheesecloth to strain the whey. Let yogurt strain for approximately 30 minutes to an hour, (or longer) depending on how thick you like it. There will be approximately 2-3 cups of whey after yogurt is done straining. Discard the whey, if you don’t want it for other uses.
Finally, spoon the yogurt into a quart container or into smaller individual containers. Chill completely before eating. Store in refrigerator. (Keeps for 5-7 days).
After the yogurt is chilled, add your favorite topping and enjoy!