Using our Bulgarian yogurt starter culture, you can prepare your own yogurt without using a yogurt maker. All you need is milk and a pack of our Bulgarian yogurt culture. Everything else you already have at home. For best results, we recommend using whole milk, although you can use low-fat or skim if desired. The instructions below are for 2 liters (1/2 gallon) of fresh milk. If you use anything else like skim milk, goat milk, UHT milk or milk powder you will maybe need to adjust quantities accordingly. The best way is just to experiment until you have your perfect yogurt.
- 2 liters (1/2 gallon) of whole fresh milk (this is NOT UHT Milk)
- 1/2 content of the packet. (Should be about 1/2 teaspoon of yogurt starter)
- Bring the milk to a gentle boil. The milk should boil for about 2-3 minutes in order to kill any existing bacteria in it, which could react with the Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. Milk boils at about 100°C (212°F). Be careful not to burn it, otherwise, your yogurt will taste like burned milk.
- Let the milk cool down to 43°C (110°F). The easiest way to test for the right temperature is to dip your pinky finger in the milk - if you can comfortably count to 5 then the milk is just right.
- After sifting the milk put it into a container where the milk will turn into yogurt.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of the starter. Mix well - still well for about 5 minutes. If you used more than one container, distribute the pack's contents evenly in respect to their volumes.
- Cover the container loosely with a lid.
- Wrap the container well in a blanket or cover with a tea cozy and let it sleep. Keep out of any draft.
The fermentation process will continue until the milk reaches a pH of 4.7. The fresh yogurt will be set in about 5-6 hours (or overnight). If the place is too cold (50°F or less), the process may take longer (10-12 hours). In general, leaving the yogurt to sit for long after it is set, will result in a denser and more acidic yogurt. When your yogurt is ready, move it to the fridge (or a cool place) for storage. Keep the remaining yogurt starter in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.