Homemade Yogurt

4 cups water
3/4 - 1 cup regular nonfat dry milk  (like from the cannery)  (or 1 1/2 - 2 cups instant)
3 T plain yogurt with active cultures, (no additives if bought from the store)  to use as a starter
OR 1 packet of yogurt starter

Mix powdered milk with water. (If you don't want to use powdered milk, just use 4 c. of regular milk) Heat to 180 degrees stirring frequently and let cool. When temperature hits 115, add the plain yogurt and stir. Place in a quart jar. Wrap heating pad around the jar and turn it to low. (or set it in a warm place) Let sit undisturbed anywhere from 4-12 hours (or longer for more tart yogurt) or until desired thickness.

*Sometimes when the milk cools, a skin will start to develop on the top. Just strain the milk before adding the yogurt.

**You can easily heat the milk in the microwave. I like this method because sometimes when I do it on the stove, the milk gets burned on the bottom of the pan if I'm not constantly stirring.

***To make Greek yogurt- after the yogurt has cooled in the fridge, pour it into a strainer that is lined with a paper towel, cheesecloth, or coffee filter.  Put it in the fridge and let the whey drain off for a couple of hours or until it's thickened.  You can leave it overnight if you want.  If it's too thick, just add a little of the whey back in to thin it out. If you want your non-fat greek yogurt to taste like Fage 2%, add a little bit of cream and mix it in.  ....I used about 1/4 c. cream for the whole batch and WOW, it makes a huge difference. 

**** To make yogurt cheese, just let it drain for 24 hours.  It becomes the consistency of soft cream cheese.  I've blended it with some pureed raspberries and a little bit of sugar and it makes an awesome spread for bagels or toast or a nice dip for fruit.