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yogurt

  1 gallon fresh raw milk

1/4 cup yogurt culture (I like Trimona!)

Pour the milk into a gallon size jar. Set the jar in a large pot with a silicone canning trivet underneath, to prevent the bottom of the jar from scalding.Place a thermometer on the edge of the jar and turn the burner on to medium. Stirring every 5-10 minutes (with an extra long spatula!--no I am NOT an affiliate, I just like this spatula), watch the temperature as it comes up to 180℉. Once it reaches 180℉, turn the burner down to low and keep the milk at 180℉ for 10 minutes. (on my particular burner, I have to heat on med-hi and then suspend at medium) 

Carefully remove the jar from the water to cool on the counter. 
When the temperature reaches 90-95℉, put the yogurt culture into a small clean bowl. (Set the spatula handle down in a jar, or somehow off the counter to avoid contamination.) Scoop two ladles of milk into the bowl, and whisk until fully assimilated, and mixture looks thicker. Inoculate the gallon by pouring the mixture into the jar, stirring well with the same spatula you used to stir the milk (to ensure it is not contaminated).

Check the temperature of the water in the pot; it needs to be about 100℉. Cover the jar, return to the water bath and culture in the oven with the light on (you might also use the proof setting, if you have it) for 12+ hours. I find I still have to crack the oven door with a couple pot holders, to keep the lights from heating it over 100. 

This yogurt is creamy and thick as it is, but if you desire to strain the whey for another use, pour cold cultured yogurt into a large cotton cloth, hanging until about 6-8 cups of whey have drained off. I like to whip the yogurt to completely break up fat chunks. It will be about a half gallon.

with frozen nectarine!

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