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Learn to make yogurt that is creamier than you can buy in the stores, which you can make sugar-free, refined-sugar-free, or using the sweeteners of your choosing. You can even make lactose-free yogurt as I did, pictured above. Read how easy it all is to do! See Notes section to make Greek Yogurt.
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Lactose-free yogurt tastes very acidic. So, be prepared to flavor your yogurt during or after culturing or at least prior to serving. I added vanilla extract and liquid stevia to mine and it was still quite bitter. You can add fruit puree if you desire. How I enjoy plain or Greek yogurt the most is as a dip for chips. I tried this one with Late July Snacks Tortilla Chips and it tasted like Greek yogurt. If I had strained it for several hours, I would say it was Chobani, which is thick and amazing.
Yogurt Recipe (Lactose-Free, Dairy-Free, Traditional, Custard-Style, or Greek)
Learn to make plain, custard, Greek, dairy-free, or lactose-free yogurt that is creamier than you can buy in stores, which you can also make sugar-free!
- 4 cups milk of your choosing (even dairy-free) I used organic ultra-pasteurized fat-free.)
- 2 tablespoons “live cultured” plain store-bought yogurt or Greek yogurt (or dairy-free) containing no gums or thickeners of any kind nor flavoring (Chobani)
Heat the milk to 200°F for lactose-free (195°F for custard-style and 165°F for traditional) in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often to prevent scorching. (You can also heat the milk in the microwave, but it’s a hassle to keep checking the temperature. That takes about 15 minutes or so.)
Remove from any heat source, cover, and allow to rest for 10 minutes. (This makes it creamier.)
Uncover and allow the milk to cool to 115°F.
Set up your device warmer and preheat to 120°F. If you’re using the Brod & Taylor Proofer, set it up without the pan of water.
Add the store-bought yogurt and any flavorings you'd like to add to a small bowl. Whisk in about 1/2 cup of hot milk. Then, add that mixture back to the remaining hot milk.
Distribute the combined mixture among the canning jars and keep at 120°F for “no more” than 1 hour. (I use the Brod & Taylor Proofer & Slow Cooker.)
Decrease the temperature to 86°F for 18 hours for lactose-free and until thick for custard-style, possibly as long as 6 hours. This step is known as culturing the yogurt. The longer you culture the yogurt the more acidic the flavor.
Check on whether the yogurt has set ever so often by jiggling the container a little. After about 2 hours into the 18 hours of culturing lactose-free yogurt, set aside a little while lactose still remains to use as a culture for next time instead of purchasing a store-bought brand. Label the culture "contains lactose". You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Once done, feel free to strain the yogurt using a fine-mesh or colander lined with either a coffee filter or 2 layers of cheesecloth. This step may be performed after chilling, if you desire.
Refrigerate covered up to 2 weeks. Stir in any sweeteners of flavorings you desire like vanilla, honey, liquid or powdered stevia, pureed fruit, etc.
To make Greek yogurt, double the store-bought yogurt and heat the milk to 205°F. Allow the milk to rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Combine the store-bought yogurt with some hot milk. Then, pour it back into the plain hot milk. Uncover and allow to cool down to 115°F. Culture at 110°F for 1 hour and then, 80°F until set.
*Small jars take longer to set because they cool quickly. So, feel free to use larger canning jars. Traditionally, 16-ounce jars take 3 – 4 hours to culture (if not making lactose-free yogurt.)