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How to use your electric yogurt maker

Yogourmet Yogurt Maker

The instructions that come with your electric yogurt maker lead you through the yogurt-making process using whole milk, 2%, skim milk, or soy milk. Here’s our favorite way to make a fairly thick nonfat yogurt, which can then be drained to make thick, rich-tasting Greek- style yogurt. While your yogurt maker may not call for the addition of nonfat dry milk to the basic recipe, we find that it helps thicken the yogurt nicely, giving it body it might otherwise lack.

These instructions will yield 2 quarts of regular yogurt, or about 3 to 4 cups of thick, Greek-style yogurt.

Note: These tips were developed for the Yogourmet electric yogurt maker. For a EuroCuisine yogurt maker, follow the instructions in the manufacturer's user manual; the photos and advice below may differ in amounts of ingredients, but the process is basically the same.

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Put 2 quarts of nonfat (skim) milk in a saucepan or stock pot. It’ll bubble up as it heats, so use a big enough pan. Stir in 1 cup instant nonfat dry milk, the kind that dissolves easily in liquid. Don’t use our Baker’s Special Dry Milk here; it’s made for baking, and doesn’t dissolve readily.
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Heat the milk over medium heat till it’s foamy and almost boiling; larger bubbles will start to “burp” from the bottom of the pan.
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Remove the pan from the heat. Your goal is to cool the milk to 111°F-113°F, so get out your instant-read thermometer, or the thermometer that came with the Yogourmet. To speed the cooling process, place the saucepan into a larger bowl of ice and water. Or into your ice-and-water filled sink. Or pour the milk into a metal bowl, and place in another bowl filled with ice and water.
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Stirring frequently, cool the milk to 111°F-113°F. This will happen faster than you might think – about 10 minutes, if you put your pan in ice water.
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Once the milk is at the desired temperature, stir in 2 packets of starter.
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Or stir in 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt containing active cultures. An organic yogurt, like Stonyfield, is a great choice. Read the side of the container to make sure it lists cultures: S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, or the like.
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Pour the hot milk into the Yogourmet’s inner container.
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Add lukewarm water to the outer container. There are two very small, inconspicuous vertical ridged lines towards the bottom of the container; fill to the bottom line if you’re making 1 quart of yogurt (about 8 ounces lukewarm water), or to the top line for 2 quarts of yogurt (about 12 ounces).
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Place the plastic container of milk into the outer container of lukewarm water.
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Snap on the smaller inner lid.
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Cover with the larger outer lid.
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Plug in the Yogourmet. The red light at the base will turn on; this tells you Yogourmet is working.
Let the yogurt “work” for 4 hours.
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Unplug the Yogourmet. Take the outside lid off, and carefully remove the inner lid to reveal thickened yogurt, with a layer of foam on top.
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Place the container of yogurt in the refrigerator overnight, to cool and thicken some more.
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Next day, your yogurt is ready to enjoy; stir to smooth it out, if desired.
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For thicker yogurt, drain the yogurt in the draining bag included with the Yogourmet, following the instruction book. After about 8 hours, you should have thick, Greek-style yogurt.
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Or drain the yogurt in a Wave yogurt cheese maker; it’ll hold about 1 quart at a time, so do it in two batches. Spoon the yogurt into the Wave, cover, and refrigerate. Empty liquid in the bottom after a couple of hours, then continue to drain till yogurt is as thick as you like; about 24 hours for the very thickest yogurt.
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Your eventual yield, from 2 quarts of prepared yogurt, is 3 to 4 cups of rich-tasting Greek-style yogurt – thick as sour cream, and just as tasty!