A 3 qt or larger pan and lid.
A cooking thermometer – I think a candy thermometer would be best, but since I don't have one I have always used my meat thermometer with good results. You will need one or the other. Temperature is important.
4 pint jars and lids. You do not need "canning" jars/rings/flats, just 4 small jars that will hold about a pint each. I use old peanut butter jars.
Milk – 3 pints. I generally use 2% milk from the grocery store. Whole milk works, and so does skim. I have also used fresh milk from the neighbor's cows, which we use regularly for everything else, but I've found the yogurt seems to "separate" and the shelf life is shorter. You can do your own experimenting!
Unflavored gelatin – 1 Tablespoon dissolved in ¼ cup cold water – you can use one envelope of Knox gelatin or one tablespoon if you buy in bulk.
Yogurt starter – ½ cup Each batch of yogurt requires ½ cup of yogurt starter. You can save ½ cup from each batch of yogurt if you like but of course that doesn't help for the first batch. And, I've found that what usually happens at our house is that someone empties the last jar, (often it's me!!) and, oops, no starter! Again. Yet I feel annoyed buying that big container of yogurt at the grocery store when what I want to do is make my own. Then I learned that yogurt can be frozen! Now, I buy that large container and freeze all of it in ½ cup containers. When it's time to make yogurt, I just set one out to thaw, and I'm ready to go!
Dry powdered milk - ½ cup
Sweetener - I use a sweet-n-low substitute, with sweetness equivalent to about one heaping Tablespoon of sugar which makes a fairly tart yogurt. You can experiment.
Vanilla – 1 tsp.
Now you are ready to start making your own yogurt! Anybody can do this, and I'll be glad to answer any questions that arise. I'll give the directions step by step, (that's the science,) followed by my chatty comments and explanations to help you with the "feel" for the process, and throw in a few tips I've picked up along the way to help with the magic!
3. Keep waiting. In a glass measuring cup, combine the ½ cup yogurt starter, the sweetener, the powdered milk, and the vanilla. (Stir this very thoroughly now, because it is a pain to mix it into the milk if it's a lumpy, bumpy mess.)
4. Keep waiting. Fill the pint jars with very warm water from the tap so they are ready when you are at step 6!
6. Now it's time to incubate the yogurt so it can "set":
- Fill a pan with very, very warm water from the tap; it should be around 120 degrees. (I usually let the water run into the pan in the sink while I am filling the jars on the counter so that the temperature stays constant when I set the jars in place.)
- Fill the jars, put the lids on tightly, and set the filled jars into the pan filled with water. Water should be well up the sides of the jars but NOT over the tops.
-Put the thermometer in the water and cover the pan with the lid, letting the thermometer visible.