You do not need any special equipment to make yogurt. Well, unless you consider a thermometer special, and I’m sure there are plenty of people the world over who make yogurt without a thermometer in any case.
If, however, you should come across a yogurt maker with its original 1974 postage and six extra jars for $5 at a rummage sale, I’d snap it up. And so I did.
Vanilla Yogurt (with or without a yogurt maker)
This recipe makes 1 quart of yogurt, because that’s what fits in my special little jars. You can multiply to do a half-gallon or a gallon or whatever floats your boat.
1 quart whole milk
2 Tbsp yogurt (Be sure to get real yogurt, with live cultures. In the future you can use the yogurt you’ve made.)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Heat your milk to 180-190 degrees.
Remove from heat and add sugar and vanilla.
Let cool to 110-120 degrees. (You can speed this up by sticking your pot in cold water. Or not.)
Add yogurt and stir to combine thoroughly.
Pour into clean jars. (Sterilize or run through dishwasher.)
If you have a nifty yogurt maker, plug it in and let the yogurt culture for 10 hours, then store your yogurt in the fridge.
If you don’t have a nifty yogurt maker, you can use your oven or a cooler or even a thermos – just warm up the interior of the thermos with some hot water, pour in your mixture, close the thermos, and let it sit for 4-8 hours depending on the consistency you like.