Yogurt is very easy to make, once you've tried it and are familiar with the process. Homemade yogurt may not be as thick as commercial, but tastes better without the additives.
- 1 quart whole milk (nonhomogenized if you can get it, thus cream will form on top)
- a yogurt or candy thermometer
- ½ cup starter plain yogurt (can be from commercial--make sure with live cultures, or from a previous batch of homemade)
Slowly heat the milk to 180 degrees F, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and allow milk to cool to 110 F. Stir in the starter yogurt. Transfer the mixture to a container for incubating and leave for several hours or overnight (6-9 hours). The longer you leave, the firmer it will get, but also the taste will get more bitter.
There are cheap yogurt incubators on the market that do a great job. You can also put it in a glass, enamel, or stainless steel container, cover, and put in a warm spot. Some people have success in the oven with a pilot light on or in a dehydrator. I've wrapped mine in towels or a blanket and put in a warm spot. The best reults I've had were with the incubator, but also in the oven with a pilot light have yielded good results as well.
Learning how to make good yogurt at home will save money and provide a better quality yogurt than what is readily accessible in many parts of the US. Until my local co-op opened, if I wanted good, plain whole yogurt, I had to make it myself. Many, many Turkish recipes call for plain whole yogurt. And the health benefits are wonderful. See a few links from the post below on Garlic-Yogurt Sauce.