Tasty, Two-Ingredient, Homemade Yogurt (Mesta)
I am blessed with a husband who will eat anything that I put in front of him. Unlike my children, he doesn’t have a picky bone in his body. In fact, he has the same breakfast and lunch every day. In the morning he has a protein shake, and for lunch, a turkey sandwich. Having a daily shake means we go through a lot of yogurt! To keep yogurt stocked in the fridge, I’ve had to perfect the art of making homemade yogurt.
Assyrians use yogurt in many of their recipes. Yogurt Soup, Purslane Dip, Dill Greek Yogurt Dip, and booshala are just a few examples. For this reason, most Assyrian mothers have plenty of homemade yogurt on hand. My mom was no exception. My mom’s yogurt was legendary! She stored in those large, clear ice-cream tubs (with the red handle). Can any Assyrians out there relate to that last statement? My mom added citric acid into her yogurt in order to make it slightly sour. If you would like to achieve the same sour taste, just mix in 1/4 tsp. of citric acid in step 5 of the recipe.
Special Tools Needed
To make homemade yogurt, I recommend a few gadgets to make your job easier. The first is a heating pad. I use the pad (on the lowest setting) to keep the milk warm until the yogurt is ready. I place a towel between the pad and the yogurt, to reduce the temperature of the pad even further. Another thing that really helps is a cooking digital thermometer. Mom used her little finger to test the temperature of the milk, but I haven’t always had success with that method. A digital cooking thermometer takes the guesswork out of the equation. Finally, I have learned that a pyrex container is perfect for not only making the yogurt but also storing it.
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Delicious and easy, two-ingredient homemade yogurt.
- 1/2 gallon milk
- 2 T. yogurt
- To make the perfect yogurt, you only need a few tablespoons of yogurt and approximately half a gallon of whole milk.
- The measurements don't have to be exact, but the method does. If you have an electric heating pad, plug it in and set it to the lowest setting. Cover the pad with a dishtowel and place a ceramic casserole dish on top of it. Meanwhile, heat the milk until it reaches 180°, then turn the burner off.
- Allow the yogurt to cool until it reaches 105-109°, or as my mom used to say, until you can dip your little finger in and can tolerate it to the count of ten.
- Ladle approximately one cup of the warm milk into the yogurt and mix until the yogurt is completely diluted.
- Pour the diluted yogurt into the warm milk and mix until incorporated. Then carefully pour the milk/yogurt mixture into the warmed casserole dish.
- Place the lid on the dish and cover with a towel. Do not disturb for eight hours.
- Once it's ready, there will be some whey that rises to the surface. Place a few folded paper towels over the yogurt to soak up the extra liquid. Periodically replace the paper towels as they get soaked. Store the yogurt in the fridge and use as needed.
- Finally, pat yourself on the back! You've just made your first batch of yogurt. Your friends will be highly impressed when you tell them you make yogurt from scratch, but you'll know it's a piece of cake!