One is to watch over your pot of milk warming on the stove, stirring occassionally and checking the temperature every few minutes until you get to 180 degrees F. This takes a good half hour at least, at medium-low heat, and makes yogurt-making seem like a long and daunting task.
The other is to put the pot of milk on the stove, turn the heat to medium-low, then go check email, Facebook, blogs, etc. until you have a need to go into the kitchen. Then gasp! realize you had milk heating on the stove, panic and quickly check its temperature. See that it’s gotten to 200 degrees but isn’t scalded or boiling yet, and hope that the higher temperature doesn’t ruin the final result…Let the milk cool to the required 110 degrees, setting the timer to check on it in five minutes. At that point it’s nowhere near cooled enough so go back to the computer, forgetting to re-set the timer, until you need to go back into the kitchen. Oops! Remember the cooling milk again and check its temp. Lo and behold! You’re in luck because it’s exactly 110 degrees. Proceed to stir in your 1/2 cup of yogurt, stick the lid on the jar and put it in its warm place to incubate for eight hours.
I’m sure there are more than two ways, but those are the two I’ve tried. This latest batch, done in method number two, seems a little more sour and curdled than usual, but it set up and with just a little more maple syrup than usual it should taste fine.
I have a yogurt-making tutorial on my older blog The Zahn Zone and if you just click here you’ll find out more about my method.