(Also known as kiselo mleko, or potkvas) with the accent on the first syllable
Before you start, you need:
1. Yogurt starter (about one coffee cup full)
2. Thermometer with clip to hang on pan (candy thermometer is good)
3. One gallon milk (best is whole milk, but can use 2% or skim)
4. One pan large enough to hold one gallon milk
5. One beach towel or large towel to wrap the pan during incubation
6. One large spoon to stir milk while heating
Pour the milk into the pan and place on range top.
Heat the milk to almost the boiling point (170 – 180 degrees Fahrenheit). Do not heat over 180 degrees. I usually stop at 175 degrees. Stir the milk so that it does not burn at bottom.
When the temperature is reached, remove from burner and continue stirring for about 2 to 3 minutes to prevent burning the milk. Let cool to 105 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This might take up to one hour. If you wish the taste to be a little more tart, let cool to 115 – 120 degrees Fahrenheit. (My mother would use the finger test. She would dip her small finger into the hot milk. If she could stand it for 3 seconds, the milk was ready.)
When the desired temperature is reached, add a little of the warm milk to the starter, mixing well. Then add the starter to the pan of milk, stirring the mixture slowly.
Put a lid on the pan, then wrap the pan with the towel. Place in warm location to incubate for about 5 to 6 hours. I usually use the oven which I sometimes heat slightly. Be careful not to overheat the oven. Avoid opening the pan, since this will cause the heat to escape and the yogurt to not set.
Smaller amounts, or in smaller containers, may also be made. But being lazy, I make a large amount at one time. Water will always seep from the yogurt. Skim milk will cause more seepage, whole milk less.
Be sure and keep a starter for the next batch.
Submitted by John Pappas