Today is a pretty epic day for PBR. It’s my dad’s first recipe post! I can’t even begin to tell you how happy it makes me that he’s going to be regularly contributing around here. Let me back up and tell you the story of me + my dad + my love for cooking.
My dad is an extremely talented self-taught home cook. My mom went to back to school to get her master’s degree when I was really young and my dad quickly discovered if he was going to feed me anything other than frozen pizza and canned green beans, he needed to learn how to cook. My mom showed him the basics and he took off from there. He eventually took over all of the primary cooking duties around the house because his work schedule put him home earlier with us and he enjoyed it.
My dad created our family meal plan every weekend and I often accompanied him on trips to the grocery store. Our weekly menu was always hanging on the fridge and we rarely went out (we lived in a small town with few good options). We sat down to dinner every night as a family. This is something that is still important to me to this day. To be honest, I didn’t have much of an interest in cooking when I lived at home but once I went to college and realized that I couldn’t eat like I was used to without learning to cook, it became a passion. My dad has spent COUNTLESS hours on the phone with me talking me through various cooking related questions and he’s set me up with some of my favorite gear including my KitchenAid 5-Speed Professional Mixer, Vitamix, Thermapen and more.
As the years went on, my dad’s cooking got better and better. One of the things that amazes me most about him is that he can do everything from bake 14 layer cakes to grill a prime rib on the Big Green Egg. He does it all! After over 30 years with the same company, my dad retired about a year ago. He’s been doing even more cooking in his retirement so I approached him about sharing some of it on the blog. He’s constantly trying new recipes, cooking methods, ingredients, etc. and he’s been focusing on eating healthier and cleaner so I knew it would be great to share here. And he agreed! Yay for us!
His first contribution is a homemade yogurt tutorial. My dad isn’t much of a breakfast eater but knows he should eat it for his health so he makes a batch of homemade plain yogurt every week and eats it with granola and fruit every morning. His yogurt is great! The texture is so soft and pillowy and the yogurt isn’t so tangy that you can’t eat it plain. This yogurt contains just two ingredients and is easy and economical to make at home.
Here we go!
Yogurt at Home
Makes about 5 pints
What You Need
– 1/2 gallon milk organic or any store brand will work; whole milk or 2% is best. I have used 1% and skim but you get a thinner yogurt. The texture is so much better with 2% or whole.
– 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt containing active cultures. I use Chobani or Stonyfield but any brand with the live cultures should work.
Live and active cultures refer to the living organismsLactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which convert pasteurized milk to yogurt during fermentation. All yogurts are required to be made with these two cultures. In addition, some yogurts contain Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidus and other cultures. (Source)
- 8 cup measuring cup
- Large whisk
- Instant-read thermometer
- Small bowl
- Heating pad
- 5 pint jars with screw on lids
1) Heat the milk in a microwave to 180° to 185°. This takes about 15 minutes in my microwave. When I first started making yogurt, I used a stock pot and it took 30-35 minutes to heat the milk and I had to stand there stirring and watching the milk so it did not scorch. Use your microwave!
2) Let the milk cool on your counter until it is 110°F to 115°F. This will take about 50 to 60 minutes. A skin will form on the yogurt remove this after the yogurt cools.
3) Once the milk has cooled, pour about 1 cup of milk into your bowl and add 2 rounded tablespoons of yogurt. Adding more yogurt will do more harm than good; so eat the remaining yogurt as a treat.
4) Gently whisk the yogurt and milk to combine.
5) Add back to the warm milk and gently whisk together. I whisk in a back and forth motion for 15 -20 seconds.
6) Pour the yogurt mixture into 5 sterile pint jars. Note: I run my jars through a hot dishwasher cycle.
7) Place the jars into your cooler with the heating pad turned to medium. Note: I place the heating pad in bottom of the cooler and then place a kitchen towel over the heating pad. I turn the heating pad on about 30 minutes before adding the jars of yogurt mixture.
8) Leave the jars in the cooler for 8-9 hours and the yogurt will set. Do not stir, look at, move, or think about the yogurt while it is in the cooler, the good bacteria in the yogurt is busy multiplying and making your yogurt. My heating pad set on medium keeps the yogurt between 105° and 110° this is the temperature the bacteria needs.
9) Once the yogurt has set, remove it from the cooler, screw on the lids and place it in the refrigerator overnight.
10) If you get a liquid on the top of your yogurt, that is the whey. I usually pour it off but if you are making a smoothie add it in as the whey is good for you.
11) The yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 weeks and you can use your homemade yogurt as the starter to make your next batch of yogurt.
- If your milk drops below 110° while it is cooling place it back in the microwave and reheat it.
- I use a dishwasher to sterilize my jars.
- Yogurt, fresh fruit or frozen with granola makes a fast healthy breakfast.
What’s your favorite way to eat or use plain yogurt?