I read this article on the NY Times about making your own yogurt last week. I'd read about it in the past on other blogs (The Frugal Girl has a more detailed set of directions) and decided that this week's break was a good time to give it a try.
I used one quart of milk and heated it over medium heat until it reached 180-190 *F.
Then I put the pan in the sink with cold water and stirred until the temperature lowered to 120 -115* F. I stirred in two tbsp of store-bought yogurt with live cultures.
I wrapped the quart jar in kitchen towels and placed it in the oven for 5 hours. The yogurt was still thin, but tasted like mild yogurt. After refrigerating it thickened up some. It is still on the thin side compare to store bought products. Since I had yogurt, we decided to make some recipes that used it. We already had planned to use some of it for Chicken Tikka Masala later this week. I had some over granola for breakfast. The NY Times linked to a topic list where you could browse recipes with yogurt and I came across a few for yogurt cheese.
I started with just 2 cups of yogurt because I was just experimenting with the yogurt cheese for the first time and I didn't want to use all of my newly made yogurt. Next time I'll use 4 cups because the cheese disappeared fast.
I lined a strainer with about 8 layers of cheese cloth and put the strainer over a bowl. I poured in the two cups of yogurt. I put it all in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, the solids remained in the cheese cloth and the whey was in the bowl. (This photo is the morning after. When I first put the yogurt in, it almost filled the strainer).
I turned the cheese out into a small bowl.
I added chives, salt, and black pepper. After mixing, I spread out a sheet of plastic wrap. I ground pepper on to a central area and then piled the cheese mix on top.
Then it was rolled up into a log shape.
We ate it on stone wheat crackers and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't wait until we have other fresh herbs growing in the garden so we can experiment with other variations. Now that we made cheese with the yogurt, I decided to go ahead and make another batch of yogurt to have on hand.