Had I known that making yogurt was so easy, I would have tried years ago. As I learned in Mireille Guiliano's best seller "French Women Don't Get Fat" (a fun summer read that reinstates many basics), a yogurt maker is totally optional. All that is required is uniform, constant warmth. An oven, turned off but with the light on, is enough. I followed her recipe:
- 1 liter 2% milk
- 1 or 2 tbsp yogurt as starter (preferably a good one with live cultures... I used Sonoma County's Saint-Benoît)
- Slowly bring the milk to a boil on medium-low heat. Turn off the heat as soon as the milk is steaming and small bubbles form on the edges of the pot.
- Transfer to another pot (or bowl) at room temperature and wait until a thermometer reads between 110F and 115F (about 45 degrees C).
- Mix the starter (yogurt) with a few ladles of warm milk. Then pour into the pot of milk and stir well.
- Fill jars and place in the oven (turned off). Cover jars with a clean cloth. Switch on the oven light. You can place a bowl of hot water in the oven if you fear the temperature won't be high enough. Wait 8 hours without opening the oven door.
- Cover the jars with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Wait another 8 hours.