- 8 cups whole milk (1/2 gallon)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla
- 1 single serving cup of all-natural vanilla yogurt
- Whisk together the milk, sugar, and vanilla in a stockpot.
- Insert thermometer and heat to 180 degrees (F), stirring frequently.
- Lower the heat and suspend the temperature at 180 for 20 minutes. This is the secret to thick yogurt! Remove the pot from the heat.
- Set your yogurt cup out to allow it to warm up a bit.
- Walk away and allow it to cool down to 110 degrees (F). Any warmer and you’ll kill the yogurt cultures, any cooler and they won’t activate.
- When you have reached to target temperature, give your yogurt in the cup a good stirring, then whisk it into the milk, stirring vigorously.
- Cover the pot with a lid. Wrap the pot up in the blanket to insulate and set it aside in a place where it won’t be disturbed for most of the day.
- Resist the temptation to peek in on your yogurt for at least 6 hours. If you like your yogurt a bit more tangy, let it sit even longer. The longer is sits, the tangier it gets.
- Ladle the finished product into your containers and chill completely prior to serving.
- If the yogurt still isn’t thick enough to your liking- perhaps you like Greek yogurt- you could always line a colander with a coffee filter and strain out some whey, but before you decide, remember it will thicken significantly after chilling, so maybe wait until your second batch.
- I use a Dannon yogurt cup- I’ve tried other brands including Stoneyfield and Dannon’s my favorite. An accidental Greek yogurt made for the best culture- super thick- but it was full of garbage like maltodextrin. If I could find an all natural one, I would definitely use it.
- Digital or Candy Thermometer (I like this self-calibrating one with a 5yr. warranty)
- Whisk (or spoon)
- Fleece blanket (Ever notice how they really hold the heat? This is for insulation during the culturing process.)